Soup season is definitely in full swing, especially with the sudden drop in temperatures here in Iowa over the past few days. And thank goodness for that, because now I can feel less crazy for making soups and stews A LOT (I guess it is “weird” to crave and cook chili in the middle of summer? 😉 ). A few days ago I set out to make a healthy and nutritious vegetarian (actually, I guess it is technically vegan) soup. This is by far one of the easiest soups that I have made and definitely one of the best tasting!
Green and Red Pepper Lentil Soup
Servings: approximately 6
I slightly adapted this recipe from Chelsea’s Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe found here: http://cleaneatingchelsey.com/2011/09/15/lentil-stuffed-pepper-soup/, so props to her!
2-3 TB of water, more as needed
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green bell peppers, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14.5 oz can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups of water*
4 tsp of Better Than Bouillon vegetable base*
1/2 cup of uncooked whole brown rice (not instant)
1 cup of dried lentils (I used red lentils but you can use any color that you’d like)
2 TB of tomato paste
hot sauce, to taste (I used about 7-10 dashes)
2 tsp of dried basil
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of garlic powder
fine sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
*You can substitute 4 cups of vegetable broth in place of the water and vegetable base.
1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of water over medium-high heat in large soup pot. Once hot, add in onions and garlic, lower heat to medium, and cook approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften. You will likely need to add more water if the pot becomes too dry.
2. Add in green and red peppers, tomatoes, water, vegetable base, rice, lentils, and tomato paste. Stir to combine all ingredients.
3. Add hot sauce and spices. Stir, cover with lid, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (or longer, if desired). Be sure to stir the soup on occasion during the simmering process.
Once cooked, the soup should look something like this:
I prepared my soup during the day on Wednesday and reheated it for Thursday night’s dinner. I always enjoy soups more as “leftovers” as opposed to eating them right after they are cooked.
I served my soup with whole grain saltine crackers and cooked green beans (unpictured).
I was thoroughly pleased with the way that this recipe turned out. It was easy to make, tasted delicious, and it was a meal that I felt good about eating due to it’s rich vegetable content and high protein content (1 serving of lentils has 13 grams of protein!). I cannot recommend this soup more!