Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

I’ve written so many lentil soup recipes for this site (and for my books), that I remember telling myself to take a break for a while. So, although I haven’t published one in a while, I rarely go more than a week without making some sort of lentil soup goodness. Trying other lentil soups I come across is also a great way to expand my line-up, and brothy, creamy, chunky, pureed, spiced, and straight versions are all are fair game as far as I’m concerned. Here’s a list of some tried-and-true favorites, and some great takes I’ve come across from out and about.

1. Coconut Yellow Split Pea Soup(QUITOKEETO)
Not technically lentil soup, but close enough. A ginger and curry-spiked yellow split pea stunner. Leftovers freeze well, and this makes an A+ lunch. Get the recipe here

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

2. Coconut Red Lentil Soup(101 Cookbooks)
One of the top ten best soups of my life. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

3. Crockpot Detox Lentil Soup(Pinch of Yum)
For the crockpot enthusiasts out there. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

4. Persian New Year Noodle Soup(101 Cookbooks)

This is my favorite soup (yes, ever) and it has lentils in it, so I’m including it here. At its core we’re talking about a bean and noodle soup featuring thin egg noodles swimming in a fragrant broth spiced with turmeric, cumin, chiles, and black pepper. You use a medley of lentils, chickpeas, and borlotti beans, making the soup hearty and filling without being heavy. You add spinach, dill, and cilantro. You add lime juice for a bit of sour at the end. And then you’ve got a number of toppings to add when you serve the soup – chopped walnuts, caramelized onions, and sour cream. From deep in the 101 archives. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

5. Smoky Sweet Potato Lentil Tortilla Soup(The Bojon Gourmet)
Lentil soup meets tortilla soup in brothy sweet potato-studded bowls of chipotle warmed goodness. More details here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

6. Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter(101 Cookbooks)
Green lentils (or split peas), topped with a curried brown butter drizzle, and pan-fried paneer cubes. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

7. Indian Lentil Soup / Dal Shorva(The Woks of Life)
When you’re ready to really raid your spice cupboard, this is the recipe. This is a recipe to turn to if you find yourself coming down with a cold anytime soon. Get the full recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

8. Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup(101 Cookbooks)
This is what I make when I need a bit of a reset. Make a big pot, and then eat throughout the week. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

9. Yellow Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup(Will Frolic for Food)
This Chitra Agrawal recipe caught my attention because it cleverly incorporates coconut, but not coconut milk. So, the broth stays hearty but not creamy – hits the spot when you want something filling but not overly decadent. Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

Bonus! Slow Cooker Winter Vegetable with Split Red Lentils(A Beautiful Plate)
Adding this at the last minute. Another slow cooker option. This one with a minestrone angle.
Get the recipe here.

Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Let’s talk through the story of my favorite lentil soup. Years ago, two of my neighbors hosted a soup party. It was an inspiring affair – big pots of simmering soups and stews, house full of chatty, friendly people. Part of what I liked was the simple premise. The hosts (David & Holly) made a number of soups, guests were asked to arrive with their drink of choice and one thing to share – salad, appetizer, or something sweet.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup

The Best Soup:

One of the vegetarian soups was a beautiful shade of yellow-orange. It was a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. It appeared to be a beautiful take on lentil soup. When I asked Holly to tell me about it, she mentioned it was based on an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, a favorite of hers.

She happened to have an extra copy of the Esalen book, and sent me home with my belly full, a new cookbook tucked under my arm, and a few suggestions related to the soup. I still make this soup regularly, love it (so much!), and thought it might be fun to revisit it today in video form – enjoy! I’ve also included some notes related to adapting this soup to the Instant Pot.

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Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Other things worth noting related to this soup – the slivered green onions sauteed in butter or coconut oil. The golden raisins that plump up with curry broth. Back notes of ginger. Depth from a good dollop of tomato paste. It all comes together in one amazing bowl of restorative, lentil soup goodness.

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Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

Blender soups are great because, often, you need just a few ingredients. Start with one all-star, seasonal ingredient like winter squash, broccoli, tomato, or asparagus. Beyond that, perhaps an onion, some broth or water, some herbs or spices, boom – you’ve got what you need to make a beautiful, silky blended soup.

A soup like this can come together in under fifteen minutes – you cook the aromatics, add the main vegetable with some broth or favored liquid, and let simmer until the vegetable(s) are cooked through. Then you go to town with more spices and toppings. I throw the term blender around loosely here. If you don’t have a traditional blender, a hand blender is fine. They work great, particularly if you’re one of those people who avoids dealing with a blender because of the clean-up. 😉 A high-speed blender can give an extra smooth, beautiful texture, but I used an immersion hand blender for years, making soups like these, before taking the high-speed plunge. Still delicious.

1. A Simple Carrot Soup(101 Cookbooks)
This simplest carrot soup! Carrots and onion form the base, it’s spiked with dollop of red curry paste, and then pureed into silky oblivion. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

2. Turmeric Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut Almond Streusel(Cheeky Kitchen)
If you’re up for a more complex carrot soup, here’s where it’s at. Lemongrass, coconut, ginger, garlic, and tahini come together in this beauty. it’s a blended carrot soup with a coco-almond streusel topping. Right? Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

3. Alkalizing Green Soup(101 Cookbooks)
Ten ingredients in a blender, this soup is a potent jolt of alkalizing vegetables and herbs, made with a protein-rich split green pea base. This is great when you need an anti-dote to and overly indulgent week. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

4. Stinging Nettle and Spring Garlic Soup(Hungry Ghost)
With their abundant vitamins and minerals, I’m always looking for ways to work more nettles into my diet. Andrea always inspires, and this is the perfect soup for springtime or if you come across nettles at the market (or out on a hike!). Use a veg broth if you’d like to keep it vegetarian / vegan. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

5. Roasted Tomato Soup(Sprouted Kitchen)
When you’ve had your fill of the seasons best fresh tomatoes, and when you’re ready to transition into fall, this is the soup to make. You still want to use great tomatoes, and you can easily make this vegan by using coconut milk or a thick nut milk in place of the heavy cream called for. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

6. Julie Morris’s Cumin Beet Soup(Julie Morris / Jenni Kayne)
From Julie’s Superfood Soups book, this vibrant blended stunner includes power ingredients like cumin, turmeric, and maca. It has a coconut milk base, nut milks will work as well. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

7. Cauliflower Soup with Lemon Zest(The Thinking CAP)
Sometimes simple is best, and that what you see here. A recipe by nutritionist Dana James strong on the cauliflower front, with a hint of lemon. Five ingredients (aside from water, salt). Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

8. Warm Almond, Garlic, and Parsnip Soup(Green Kitchen Stories)
A (remote) riff on Spanish gazpacho. I love the use of underutilized parsnips here, and the red grape and thyme finish. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

9. Broccoli Cheddar Soup(101 Cookbooks)
I love the combination of broccoli, mustard, and Cheddar here. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

10. Pumpkin and Rice Soups(Local Milk)
Brilliant use of smoked salt here adding depth to a winter squash and apple blended soup base. Also, an herby kiss of fresh time counters the natural sweetness here. To make this vegan, swap in your favorite non-dairy milk for the cream – a thick homemade cashew nut milk works great – (1 cup soaked nuts blended w/ two nuts, strained). Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

11. Coconut Broccoli Soup(101 Cookbooks)
A simple broccoli and spinach affair, made with coconut milk broth, double greens (broccoli & spinach), and topped with good stuff like pan-fried tofu cubes, lots of toasted almonds, and shredded scallions. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

12. A Simple Asparagus Soup(101 Cookbooks)
Spiked with a dollop of green curry paste, this is a springtime favorite. Just a handful of ingredients, and you can use cashew nut or almond milk in place of the coconut milk if you like. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

13. Pumpkin and Rice Soups(101 Cookbooks)
Ginger-spiked pumpkin (or winter squash) soup. It calls for fresh ginger juice, pressed from grated ginger, and a kiss of serrano chile. Just a short list of ingredients come together beautifully here. Get the recipe here.

Thirteen Great Blender Soups you can Make Tonight

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Life Changing Green Rice Porridge (Instant Pot, Vegan)

I don’t use the term life changing lightly, but this rice porridge recipe fits the bill. It’s a one pot, effortless, green, nutrient-packed twist on one of my favorite things to eat. Congee, also commonly referred to as rice porridge. This version incorporates a lot of chopped spinach. A lot. Enough spinach that your body will notice.

Life Changing Green Rice Porridge Recipe

The Cooking Method

I make this porridge in an Instant Pot. You can also make it in a thick-bottomed pot on the stovetop – no Instant Pot necessary. Although, that method requires more babysitting. Similar to this Instant Pot Congee with Brown Rice and Turmeric, you put your rice into the pot, add water or broth, walk away, and start daydreaming about toppings.

Life Changing Green Rice Porridge Recipe

Let’s Talk about Toppings

Here you see lime, crushed kale chips and toasted nori, toasted pepitas, hemp seeds, and jungle peanuts. The tofu is sliced thinly, drizzled with shoyu, and draped over the porridge. Sometimes I spike the whole situation with sriracha sauce, sometimes I don’t.

Life Changing Green Rice Porridge Recipe

Getting the Rice Porridge Just Right

I’ve settled on a ratio of brown rice to white rice that works really well. You’ll see that reflected in the recipe. It’s one part white jasmine rice to two parts brown jasmine rice. You can optionally pepper that rice blend with 1/4 cup of other quick cooking grains or pulses if you like – French lentils, adzuki beans, Job’s tears, etc. Or not, totally your call!

Life Changing Green Rice Porridge Recipe

I know I say this often, but feel free to use this recipe and ratio as a jumping off point. Next time I might add a bunch of chopped herbs, and use another favorite broth in place of water.

I hope you love this rice porridge! It’s nutrient-packed and green. Simple to make. Made with whole foods. Delicious anytime of day. One pan magic. And, the perfect hearty, satisfying canvas to load up with your favorite toppings.

Lastly, for anyone looking for more Instant Pot recipe inspiration, I’ve set up an Instant Pot recipe category – all my favorite successes are featured there. And, for reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1Enjoy!

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The Creamiest Vegan Soup (Cauliflower)

If you’re looking to make a silky smooth, creamy vegan soup, today is your day. This gem caught my attention because it is quite different than most “creamy” vegan soups I come across. It uses a clever trick to achieve its signature texture. And the resulting soup doesn’t rely on heavy cream or lots of coconut milk. Bingo.
The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe
The lineage of this soup goes something like this. Genius recipe-spotter Kristen Miglore highlighted this Paul Bertolli recipe on Food52 back in 2011. The CAP Beauty ladies gave it a turmeric and mustard twist in their new book, and I went from there. Adding yellow split peas on top make it a one-bowl meal, nutritional yeast tees up some cheesy flavor notes. I also upped the quantity because, leftovers.

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

The Technique: Make a Vegan Soup Super Creamy

The base of this soup is cauliflower. I make cauliflower soup all the time. The thing that makes this recipe special is the cooking technique. You let the cauliflower steam, in the pot, for 15 minutes. You can do this with cauliflower and get tender delicious florets out of the process. When you do this with vegetables like asparagus you end up with sad, overcooked, off color asparagus. Long way of saying, cauliflower is a great ingredient for this technique. Carrot and sweet potato also love the steam approach. 

The Creamiest Vegan Soup Recipe

This is a vegan soup.  It is also gluten-free, boosted with turmeric, and relatively quick to make on a weeknight. Leftovers are great and endlessly adaptable.

Other Ideas

This version is spike with  turmeric and mustard. You can certainly explore other directions. Grated ginger would be a great addition. Or, if you have spices left over from chana masala, perfect! I even stir a cup of rice porridge into the leftovers, for an excellent rice soup.

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California Tom Yum Soup

This soup is a distant relative of the vibrant, brothy tom yum soup you likely know from many Thai restaurants. Part of its magic is the way (a good version) plays sweet off sour, balancing herbaceousness, feisty heat, and just the right amount of saltiness. There are infinite interpretations of it, but this is how I make it in my (California) kitchen. It has evolved over the years, and this version is vegetarian / vegan, made with a fresh tom yum paste, highlighting whatever seasonal produce is on hand. It evolves with with the seasons, and I like to use any leftover to the next day to add dimension to rice bowls, or as egg poaching liquid, or as the broth in a breakfast congee. Be sure to read the headnotes before you dive into this one. Enjoy! -h

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

California Tom Yum Soup

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