January is Soup Month! Yes, there is such a thing, and it’s the best time of year to celebrate soup; especially the homemade kind that creates the most delicious aroma and beckons to everyone to congregate to the heart of the home. Soup is our favourite lunchtime meal, and it’s not often you’ll find that we don’t have a batch either on the stove or pre-made and already waiting in the freezer for us when we return from our walk home from the library. Today I’m sharing one of our favourite lunchtime meals; lentil tomato soup!
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There’s nothing more wonderful than the smell of a fresh homemade meal that brings the family together. My children like to help with making meals; sometimes they help chop veggies, but some days I just quickly throw things together while they’re working on a lesson, but I always save a few pieces of carrot for them to have for their snack to keep them going so their little tummies don’t grumble as they wait for lunchtime.
This soup doubles so very easily, and I always make a double-batch so that I have some left over for a day or two, or to portion up and freeze for days when I don’t have time to make a fresh pot. You can also put these ingredients together in a slow cooker in the morning and have it ready and waiting for you by lunchtime.
Lentil Tomato Soup Ingredients
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 Garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
- 2 Celery sticks, chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground corriander
- 175g red lentils
- 1 TBSP tomato purée
- 1.2 litres Vegetable stock
- 400g canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 Bay leaf
- Pepper, to taste
It usually takes less energy to boil a kettle of water than to heat it to boiling on the stove so I fill the kettle and turn it on for the soup stock (if I don’t have fresh, then I simply use a stock cube) as I gather my ingredients and chop up my veggies.
I’m not a fan of chopping veg, but the smaller you cut your veggies the faster they will cook and the sooner your soup will be ready, so I sometimes keep this in mind for reducing the cooking time (both to save energy as well as those times when I’m late getting lunch started and the kids are hungry and impatient).
You could get fancy with how you put the ingredients together, but why make fuss when you don’t need to. I just throw all of the ingredients together into a pot and bring it to a boil on the stove before turning the heat down to simmer until the lentils and veggies are cooked.
Remove the pot from the heat and take the bay leaf out of the pot. If you have a food processor, you can transfer the soup there to blend it; I use a simple hand stick blender to save the hassle and blend right in the pot. However, be careful doing this so that the soup doesn’t spray across the kitchen or onto any skin because it is hot!
My children go between wanting this soup blended or left as chunky, so we’ve had it both ways. Currently, I’m blending it about 75% so that it’s mostly smooth and creamy, but with a few larger nuggets in there to keep everyone happy and to give it the feel of homemade over the feel of an over-blended store-bought soup in a carton.
My children also love to eat this soup cold the following day! Seriously! Keep that in mind for hot summer days, and call it gazpacho to be posh!
Serve this soup with a side of garlic toast, crackers, aside salad, or for the extra-hungry, a grilled cheese sandwich.