Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Vegetable Red Lentil Soup

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!

I love soups!  I really do, especially when the weather is even a little chilly out.  It's a strange thing to be craving now when the weather is still nice and toasty, but that's what sounds good.  Not that you need an excuse to make or eat soup, but hey.  It is a little sad to me that the Hubby doesn't like soup as much as I do, because I go through these phases where I want to eat soup everyday for a week or so and be completely satisfied.  There was this time about 2 1/2 years ago where I made this soup (I already posted the recipe) and ate it everyday for several weeks and was completely happy.  As I'm typing this, I'm hungry, craving soup, but this time I really really want a delicious bowl of french onion soup.  Oh man is that stuff good!  

I was a guest chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute a couple years ago and made a menu that included french onion soup and it was seriously the most amazingly tasty soup I think I have ever made.  It's about time I make it again.  The only issue is that soups are so easy to make way too much of, and though I wouldn't mind eating it for every meal for over a week, Hubby would definitely complain.  I think making it for the family I cooke for is probably a better idea because I can then just take the extras home and enjoy it by myself.  I would like to try to make it with some kind of gluten free bread so I can post it for another Gluten Free Wednesday, and top it with some gooey, melty diaya on top. Yum!  That's next on the list!

Vegetable Red Lentil Soup:

Warm, Spicy Deliciousness!

Yields about 12 cups (freezes well)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 stalks celery, sliced in half and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, small diced, about 1 cup
1 cup split red lentils, picked over and washed
10 cups water
2 medium carrots, small diced, about 3/4 cup
1 roma tomato, small diced, about 1 cup
1/2 green pepper, small diced, about 1 cup
1 red or yellow pepper, small diced, about 3/4 cup
1 stalk broccoli, cut into small florets, about 2 cups, stem reserved for another use
2 tablespoons unchicken boullion
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon red chili paste
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1//8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

1.  In a large stock pot over medium heat, place the oil and allow to heat.  Add the onion, celery and garlic and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.  Add the drained lentils and stir to coat with the vegetable mixture.
2.  Add the spices and boullion and stir to coat.  Add the water.  Allow the mixture to come up to a simmer and simmer for about 10 minutes before adding the vegetables.  Split red lentils cook very quickly and because the vegetables are all cut the same size, they will cook very quickly as well.
3.  Once the lentil mixture has simmered for about 10 minutes, add all of the veggies and stir to coat.  Continue to simmer until the lentils and vegetables are both cooked all the way through.  Be careful not to overcook - it is important that both the lentils and veggies are just tender.
4.  Serve with additional cayenne pepper for extra heat, if desired.  The nice part about this soup is that the hotter it is, the better it is.  It made my nose run, and I was happy every minute of it.  Serve with rice or some other kind of grain on the side the help battle the heat. 



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