Did you know Montana is the number one producer of lentils in the country? We love Timeless Lentils. They are a Montana company and have a great variety.
Lentils improve the soil, create their own fertilizer, and thrive with little moisture. They’ve also got twice the protein that quinoa does and are a great source of iron, folate, fiber and many other minerals. On the brink of winter, we created this plant-based, hearty soup recipe to keep us warm throughout the season. This soup makes 10-12 servings, enough for now and you can freeze the rest for later. Chock full of veggies, it’s easy to make as long as you’re up for all of the chopping.
Yield: 10-12 hearty servings (1 serving = about 1½ cup)
1 pound black or French green lentils (2 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups yellow onions, chopped (3 large onions)
4 cups leeks, white part only, chopped (2 leeks)
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced (3 cloves)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram leaves or ½ teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves, dried
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cups celery, chopped
3 cups carrots, chopped
3 quarts vegetable stock (12 cups)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound broccoli, chopped into 1 ½ inch pieces
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Put the lentils in a bowl, then cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, bay leaves and cumin and sauté for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Don’t let them brown!
- Add celery and carrots and sauté for 10 more minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings and add any extra if necessary.
- In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the broccoli until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain.
- Serve the soup hot topped with broccoli and pomegranate seeds. Or try this: Instead of the broccoli, chop 2 cups kale, spinach, or chard leaves and stir into the soup for the last few minutes of cooking.