Vegan recipes Veganuary 2022

Basic / Everyday Red Lentil Soup

lentil soup in casserole pan

Preparation Time
10m

Cooking Time
25m

Serves
4 (approx. 1.3 litres of soup)


I grew up vegetarian, and lentil soup is one of the my first food memories. My husband grew up not-vegetarian and this lentil soup (or a version of it) is something he grew up eating, too. It’s something I remember rolling my eyes repeatedly at as a child (‘boring lentil soup agaaaaaain!’), but now come back to at least every couple of weeks.

It took me until a good way into my thirties to be confident making this lentil soup. My mum cooked by eye, rather than recipe, and I think something about it freaked me out – needing to add enough water to cook the lentils, but not so much the soup was tasteless and splishy. I also knew that lentils expanded, but was never sure how much – meaning I was frightened of making the lentil equivalent of the magic porridge pot.

Anyhow, I got it nailed and these days we make and eat stacks of lentil soup, usually for lunch. It’s delicious, packs a really good protein and vegetable punch, and is both delicious and nothing-special enough to eat every day. I’m hoping it will be one of the first foods we give our daughter when she starts eating food – so that she too can eventually roll her eyes at it, and she too can make disparaging remarks.

The recipe below is for a really basic lentil soup, which can be used as a base and to explore based on your own tastes. It’s the recipe I needed to help me work it all out. Lentils take spices and extra seasoning really well – so do feel free to get creative and add garam masala, cumin, ginger, garlic etc. I rarely get beyond the below.

If nutrition information is your thing, I’ve included the approximate nutrition information for the recipe at the bottom of the page. If that level of detail is not for you, look away / stop reading before you get there.

I’d love to see your creations should you make this recipe – do go ahead and tag me @wholemealmum or #wholemealmum, so I can see!


Ingredients

lentil soup ingredients
  • 1 good glug of rapeseed oil (approx. 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup of red lentils / 190g
  • 1 onion
  • 2 big or 3 medium carrots / about 200g
  • 1 litre of stock (I use Marigold Vegan Bouillon: 1 litre of water + 4 tsp of stock powder)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Chop the onion & sauté with the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan
  2. Rinse the lentils in a sieve until the water runs clear
  3. Make the stock, stirring well for lumps. Add the stock to the pan with the bay leaves
  4. Add the lentils and few grinds of pepper to the pan
  5. Grate the carrot & add to the pan
  6. Bring the pan to the boil
  7. Give everything in the pan a jolly good stir to make sure nothing has stuck to the bottom
  8. Add a lid to the pan & simmer over a low heat for at least 20 minutes
  9. Stir the soup, and remove the bay leaves
  10. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if appropriate
lentil soup in a blue bowl

Basic / Everyday Red Lentil Soup

I grew up vegetarian, and lentil soup is one of the my first food memories. My husband grew up not-vegetarian and this lentil soup (or a version of it) is something he grew up eating, too. It’s something I remember rolling my eyes repeatedly at as a child (‘boring lentil soup agaaaaaain!’), but now come back to at least every couple of weeks. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine british
Servings 4
Calories 252 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tsp rapeseed oil  one good glug 
  • 190 g red lentil approx 1 cup
  • 1 onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 litre stock I use Marigold Vegan Bouillon: 1 litre of water + 4 tsp of stock powder)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Chop the onion & sauté with the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan
  • Rinse the lentils in a sieve until the water runs clear
  • Make the stock, stirring well for lumps. Add the stock to the pan with the bay leaves
  • Add the lentils and few grinds of pepper to the pan
  • Grate the carrot & add to the pan
  • Bring the pan to the boil
  • Give everything in the pan a jolly good stir to make sure nothing has stuck to the bottom
  • Add a lid to the pan & simmer over a low heat for at least 20 minutes
  • Stir the soup, and remove the bay leaves
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if appropriate
Keyword lentil, soup, vegan, vegan soup

Nutrition

Approximate nutrition information for the whole recipe / per serving (a quarter of the recipe)

  • Energy: 1007kcal / 252kcal
  • Protein: 49.9g / 12.5g
  • Carbs: 141.8g / 35.4g
  • Fat: 21.9g / 5.5g

Notes

Can I freeze this soup?

Yes. This lentil soup freezes and thaws very well. We freeze individual servings, in tubs. You could also freeze the whole pan. I recommend defrosting slowly in the fridge.

Can I make this recipe ahead?

Yes. We make this soup the day before we want to eat it, and leave it in the fridge. Alternatively, you can chop the vegetables ahead of time, and store them in the fridge.

I don’t have the ingredients. What can I swap or substitute?

Onion: swap for two cloves of garlic
Stock powder: Add extra salt and pepper to taste
Carrot: Omit, or substitute for butternut squash or sweet potato

wholemealmum

Mother of a baby girl, born in July 2021. Finding my way with it all. Recipes, parenting, and walking.

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