I have tried dozens of lentil soup recipes, ranging from incredibly simple, to very time and labor intensive. This basic red lentil soup recipe is so easy, and so delicious. I've been making it for a couple of years, and I really can't find any other recipe that is comparable in taste. I found this recipe on 101cookbooks.com, which is a site hosted by Heidi Swanson, who calls herself a "Supernatural Cook." Her recipes look and taste delicious, and this is no exception. It is definitely one of her easier dishes, and it only has a few basic, cheap ingredients. If you are new to the world of lentils, or even just new to the world of red lentils, you should try this. It is the ultimate comfort soup. It would also be terrific, with the addition of any root veggies, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips - even broccoli or cauliflower would go beautifully.
I add broccoli to just about everything...
Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from 101Cookbooks.com
1 1/3 cups red lentils
1/2 cup brown rice (short grain is perfect here)
3 shallots (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1 (or 2 or 3) Red Bell Peppers
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
6 cups of water or vegetable broth (I use refrigerated veg base)
Toasted slice almonds (optional, but delicious as a topping)
Sautee shallots, onions, crushed red pepper, and bell peppers in the olive oil for a few minutes. Then add the other ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until rice is tender. Top with toasted almonds, pesto, anything else that sounds good...