The Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner has traditionally used a ham bone to make the base for lentil soup. Lately, we’ve been trying to cut back more and more on the money we spend for groceries, in addition to eating less meat. This recipe for vegan lentil soup will satisfy your craving for lentil soup without the fat and calories of the ham broth. And, it will save you money since you won’t have to buy a ham to get the ham bone.
Dried brown lentils can be purchased at any market in the Buffalo area, and they Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner has found them for less than $1 per pound at many markets such as Budwey’s Markets, PriceRite and Save-A-Lot.
Make your own vegetable broth from scraps and peelings to make this even more ecomonical. To pump up the nutrition factor without adding too many calories or spending a lot of money, add 4 ounces of chopped frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained (squeeze all the water out) to the soup the last 20 minutes. Stir to incorporate. This will thicken the soup up a bit and you may find that you need to add more water and increase the heat to medium-high to get it hot and bubbly again.
This recipe will make about 10 to 12 one-cup servings, at the average cost of about 10 to 15 cents per cup. It makes a fantastic soup to serve on soup and sandwich night. Try with the Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner’s falafel recipe. Lentil soup and falafel go very well together.
Vegan lentil soup
8 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any stones
salt and pepper, to taste
Add oil to hot stockpot (at least 4 quarts). Add onion and garlic and saute until softened, but do not let get brown. Add carrots, celery and water (or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil; add lentils and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, until lentils are soft and soup is thick.
Rachael’s recipe notes:
You may need to add more water about halfway through cooking, so keep an eye on the pot. If the pot starts to boil, reduce heat from medium-low to low and uncover. You want the thickness of this soup to be between a soup and a stew, that’s what makes it hearty.
If you want to make a non-vegan version of this soup, you can add 1 cup of diced ham about 10 minutes before its done.
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