When spring comes and warm weather arrives, I get excited because I can make delicious dinner salads. But when fall comes and the price of fresh salad ingredients goes up, I don’t mind a bit because I can start making soup!!
Many of the soups I make call for onions, carrots, and/or celery. These vegetables are usually very reasonably priced all year. Add some dried lentils and chicken broth and you’ve got a super tasty soup that costs less than $1 per quart. And continuing last week’s theme, it’s freezable!!
Yesterday we had some friends over for lunch after church. I made it real easy on myself. Two or three days before, I took two containers of lentil soup out of my freezer and put them in the fridge to thaw. Before church, I just dumped them in the crock pot and left it to heat while we were gone. We came home to piping hot lentil soup and a house that smelled delicious. I served the soup over white rice, though it is excellent by itself.
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large celery ribs, chopped
1 Tbsp. salt
2 lbs. brown lentils
2 large tomatoes, chopped (can be peeled if desired)
4 qts. water
¼ c. + 2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
3 bay leaves
Heat vegetable oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and salt; sauté until tender but not soft. Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 40-45 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée to desired consistency. Yield: 5 qts. (2 lb., 5 oz.). Total cost: less than $5.00!