This is not a professional recipe, just a lentil soup that I cook all the time; it’s easy, delicious and super nutritious, so hopefully you’ll be able to follow my less-than-perfect directions to making it!
- 1 bag lentils (400 grams)
- 1 medium-sized piece of pumpkin (about TT$10 worth)
- 1—2 large carrots
- Half a red pimento and half a green pimento
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1 medium-sized to large onion
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. all-purpose seasoning
- Few dashes of paprika
- 32 FL. OZ. MSG-free and gluten-free chicken or vegetable stock (e.g. Swanson or Kitchen Basics)
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Soak lentils in a bowl of water overnight or for at least 4-5 hours. Fill the water way above the level of the lentils, because they’ll suck up more water than you think. You’ll know when they’re ready to cook because you should be able to slide them out of their skins really easily when you squeeze them between your thumb and forefinger.
- Chop up all ingredients that need chopping. They can be chunky or fine – that’s up to you.
- Heat a large saucepan (pot) on medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. The oil stops the butter from burning and olive oil is the healthiest oil out there.
- Once the oil and butter are heated, add the pimentos and onion. Stirring regularly, sauté these for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Garlic burns quicker than the other seasonings and is apparently gross if it burns. Sauté all 3 ingredients for about another minute or so.
- Add a very small amount of the stock to prevent the seasonings from burning, and then throw in your pumpkin (cut into small cubes), carrot and lentils. You can add any other vegetables you like, but these three do the trick for me and go really well together in my opinion. Stir these around with the onions for about 30 seconds to a minute so that all of the flavour soaks in there.
- Add the rest of the stock. I like my soups blended, and very thick and hearty. I prefer that to broth-y soups, so I only add enough stock to just about go over the level of the lentils. If the stock isn’t enough, then I just add water to make up the difference. However, if you prefer a more broth-y soup, then maybe add an extra cup of water, or add enough stock and water to cover the lentils by an inch or so.
- Add the salt, all-purpose seasoning and paprika, making sure to stir it all in evenly.
- Cover the pot and leave for about 25—30 minutes or until everything is soft and cooked, and then when you’re done, blend it all up in a blender if you like a really thick, yummy soup. If you prefer it a bit more broth-y, then just leave as is without blending.
NB: Added benefits of this meal are that it is really cheap to make and it can feed about four people with big portions. If you’re cooking for two or for one, then you’ll have lots of leftovers that you can freeze and use again later.