I’ve got a fun one for you today, guys! Different variations of this soup have been created in my kitchen for the last few months, all just as delicious as the last, but this post contains my absolute favorite version.
We have a discount grocery store on the outskirts of town that sells all of the close out items from other nearby grocery stores. The prices are INSANE, I’m limiting food waste, and there is always something there that inspires or surprises me (read: vegan bacon for $2, YAS). You never know what you’re going to get there, which is all part of the fun, but doesn’t make traditional meal planning very practical. Instead, I go there with a general dish in mind — soup, tacos, etc. — and shop the sales. This strategy also allows you to cook with the seasons and is the same tactic I employ while at farmer’s markets.
This soup was born out of that loose shopping strategy. I should really call this my “up for interpretation soup,” but I’m not sure that would attract much attention. As you’ll see in the notes, you can mix and match whatever type of potatoes, root vegetables, onions, and peppers you can find. So, if you’ve happened upon a cooking rut, give this recipe a try and make it your own.
One Pot Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup
Print this recipe here!
– The best part about this recipe is you can mix and match whatever veggies you have available. For this post I used mini red and yellow potatoes and a mix of turnip, radish, and carrot. You could use sweet potato or yukon potatoes — actually some purple potatoes in this could be awesome. As for the root vegetables, I have also used beets, parsnip, celery root, etc., all with similar vibes. Same goes for the onions and peppers; use a red or a yellow onion, a poblano or an anaheim, whatever you have!
– I use a chopper to get all of my veggies, onions, peppers, ginger, and garlic finely diced, which really streamlines the process. Remember those slap chop commercials? 😉
– If you’d rather use vegetable stock in place of the paste, use 3 cups stock and 3 cups water.
– In the photos above, I drizzled my soup with coconut milk because it looks better, but usually I just add about a ½ cup of coconut milk to the soup at the end of cooking and stir. Either way, the creamy coconut milk really takes this soup to the next level.
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup root vegetable, finely diced (see notes)
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely diced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 inch knob of ginger, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vegetable stock paste
6 cups water
½ tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon tamari
Salt to taste
Rice, naan, etc.
Throw lentils, potatoes, root veggies, peppers, tomatoes, ginger, onion, garlic, vegetable stock paste, water, turmeric, coriander, cumin, mustard powder, and chili flakes into large soup pot or dutch oven (we’ll add the salt at the end). Stir to incorporate and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer, covered for 40 minutes. Be sure to come back and stir your soup every once in a while.
Meanwhile, make sure your rice is cooking and clean up the mess you undoubtedly made during prep.
After the 40 minutes is over, take the soup off the heat and salt to taste. At this point I like to use an immersion blender and whiz the soup up a few times to get a creamier consistency. You could get the same effect by spooning some of the soup into a blender and then returning the blended up soup back to the pot. Blending is not necessary at all, so be yourself.
To serve, put some rice (if using) in your bowl and spoon the soup over the top. Drizzle your soup with coconut milk and garnish with cilantro. Sprinkle some mustard seed on there, too, if you’re feeling extra fancy (which you should be).
This soup freezes beautifully, so make a big batch!