‘Souper’ Easy, Hearty and Healthy Lentil Soup

7 Jan

Celery, carrots, and onion are a trio commonly known as a ‘mirepoix.’ During the winter, I like to make sure my kitchen is always stocked with these three staple ingredients which together form the basis for a wide variety of soups and stews. You’d be surprised how long celery and carrots will last in the fridge. If they start to wilt, store them in a bowl of cold water and watch them spring back to life. It’s like magic!


We’re one week into 2013 and so far I’ve managed to keep my New Year’s resolution. I cooked one of my favourite hearty soups yesterday afternoon, a soup that my Mom first made during my university years. It brings back fond memories; years of dismal cooking spotted with frozen homemade meals that I would always save for when I was craving a taste of home.

This isn’t your ordinary lentil soup. Sweet potato chunks are little gems of bliss (I’ve been known to pick out all of the pieces from the pot!) and contrast nicely with the robust cumin, coriander, and oregano. It’s thick, hearty, and an easy one-dish meal.  Bonus: it makes a LARGE pot, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers plus several portions that can be frozen.

Now I get to sit back and relax because lunch for the week is made!

Fundalentilly delicious!

Nom nom nom

Fundalentil Soup
(from Crazy Plates)

Feel free to substitute the can of tomato soup for a can of tomato paste + a bit of sugar or honey for just the right amount of sweetness.  Add the water or broth last.  My soup pot is not quite large enough to hold all of the ingredients so I often use a fraction of the fluid at first, then add the rest once I’ve eaten a bowl or two.

1 tsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups low-fat chicken or vegetable broth, preferably low-sodium
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (preferably no-salt-added)
1 can (10-3/4 oz) reduced-fat tomato soup, undiluted
2 cups dried brown or green lentils
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes (I left the skin on this time)
2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp each ground coriander and salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups packed, chopped, fresh spinach (I like to use an entire 227 g bag of spinach)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir for 3 or 4 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except spinach. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add spinach and simmer for 15 more minutes.  Serve hot.

Makes 12 servings.  Per serving: 198 calories, 2 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 12 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 12 g fibre, 355 mg sodium.

6 Responses to “‘Souper’ Easy, Hearty and Healthy Lentil Soup”

  1. Jacalyn Goodwin January 8, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Yummy! Loving the photos! I have been favouring curry powder and cumin lately to add to my soups. Benj and I have been having roast chicken dinners on Sunday using the chicken bones for stock (naturellement!) to make vegetable soup (mostly squash based with any left over roasted veg) – and voila! at least two lunch are prepared for the week. Great post lady, keep’em coming!

    • lisa January 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

      Anxiously awaiting the birth of your own little blog. It will provide some much needed inspiration… you’re a true chef!

  2. Alex January 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    oh my this sounds delish, your description has my mouth watering…this might find its way onto the cafe menu in the next week 🙂

    • lisa January 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      If it does, take a picture please! Still need to try your lemony lentil soup. I’ve got a whole lotta lemons in my fridge that have seen better days.

  3. Victoria January 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Lisa, thought you would enjoy this recipe. It is deeeelicious. 🙂 I did use only 3 jalapenos. I’m not afraid of spice, but a five alarm fire in my mouth makes no sense to me.

    I have poached mild fish, and chicken breasts (not together!) in this as well (so good).



    Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]
    Adapted from Saveur

    Serves 4 to 6

    1/4 cup olive oil
    5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims; I would go for 3 or 4 next time for a more moderate but still gentle kick)
    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    5 cloves garlic, crushed then fiinely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
    Kosher salt, to taste
    6 eggs
    1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
    1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
    Warm pitas, for serving

    Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

    Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

    Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

    • lisa January 8, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      My mouth is watering… this dish sounds like HEAVEN! Might have to give it a try for brunch this weekend, although it could easily be a dinner. Thanks for sharing, Victoria!

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