Vegan Red Lentil Soup

A delicious vegan soup even veggie snobs will love

My son is a very particular eater. There is very little he is happy to eat, and  he does justice to his Italian name: carbs, carbs, and more carbs, please. Give him pasta and fruit and he’s happy. But there is one thing I make that he eats and asks for more. The best part? It’s healthy, delicious, and vegan to boot. And the rest of the family loves it, too. This Vegan Red Lentil Soup freezes well and is a great thing to pull out of the freezer on a busy night to save your money and your time.

Let it be known that I’m not a vegan (I’m not even a bona-fide vegetarian), but I do enjoy making high-iron, high-protein vegan meals frequently, because they’re healthy, keep well, and are often super tasty.

Red Lentil Soup: vegan, nutritious, and delicious, www.marianamcdougall.com.

I started making red lentil soup from a recipe in a cookbook, but over the years I have changed this soup so much and added so much to it, that now mine is a recipe in its own right. So here I give you the instructions for a delicious meal that will please even the most avid meat lovers. Oh, the photos of the soup are from a Creative Commons site and not of my actual soup, because kids. I guarantee that though my soup looks nowhere near as pretty, it tastes just as delicious as the ones on the photos look.

Vegan Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 tbsp canola (or other cooking oil)

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, diced

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp ground ginger (or 1/2 tsp fresh ginger)

Dash cayenne pepper

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery sticks, diced

1 can diced tomatoes (8 fluid ounces)

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

2 cups red lentils, rinsed

6-8 cups vegetable broth (more broth if you prefer a more watery soup, less broth if you prefer a thicker soup).

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 2- minutes. Add the carrots and celery and mix to coat with the spices. If the onions and garlic are starting to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a splash of veggie broth or water. 

Cook the carrots and celery until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, quinoa, and red lentils and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or so, and then add the veggie broth.

Cook, uncovered, and mixing occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes, until the lentils and quinoa are soft. If the soup starts to boil before the 15-minute mark, be sure to lower the heat until the quinoa and lentils are cooked through. Do a taste test and add any more spices and/or salt to your liking.

Take about half the soup and place it into a high-powered blender. Blend the soup, then add it back to the pot and mix together. The result will be a deliciously creamy, orange-coloured soup that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Enjoy!

 

Cooking in Real Life – Mexican-Inspired Vegetarian Enchiladas

Ha ha, fooled you with that picture of Mexican-Inspired Enchiladas, didn’t I? I was just kidding. I’ve got 3 kids 8 and under, people. And they want to help cook. So here’s what enchiladas actually look like in a house like this:

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Husbands Who Cook

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Today’s nice thing was that we had some more folks over for dinner. Dan decided that this year he’d like to have people over for dinner on most weekends. We had found we were getting a little too socially isolated, and we wanted to re-connect with friends and re-establish a social life. After all, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” as they say.

So today’s nice thing is that we had a lovely family over for dinner. I met Chris when I performed in my very first play last spring – an adaptation of the Princess Bride. I like to joke that I was in a play with Johnny Depp, because it’s uncanny how much this dude looks like the actor. Anyway, after doing the play, we became friends with Chris and his lovely family. So we invited them over a couple of times, one of which was for yesterday’s dinner. Their kids and ours get along well, so they played and we actually got to have a fairly uninterrupted conversation, which was nice.

But the other nice thing is that the entire meal was cooked by Dan. Dan really enjoys cooking, so he takes pride in making the meals when he invites people over. And sorry, family, but he also makes the best “pudim de leite condensado” I’ve ever had. I don’t even make the stuff (I refuse to, ’cause there’s no way it can compare). When we first got married, Dan was a better cook than me. Now I think we’re pretty much on par. It’s nice to have a dinner cooked for me though 🙂

Today I’m grateful for an involved husband and father who can cook, dance, fold laundry, change diapers and clean toilets, and who enjoys entertaining guests. Looks like I hit the jackpot (but I already knew that).

What nice thing happened to you today?

Thank you to Dream Big Printables for this post’s lovely image. Check out their awesome art.

Slow Cooker Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera (Vegan)

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Adapted from The Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker by Michelle A. Rivera

This delicious dish is full of vegetables and whole wheat deliciousness. If you add cauliflower to the mix, you get an extra boost of iron (the vitamin C in the cauliflower improves absorption of the non-heme iron in the whole wheat pasta).

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