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Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Lentil Soup

We’ve been socked in by the appropriately named polar vortex in recent weeks, and though Chicago is currently melting from a white-peaked Chiberia to a waterlogged Chitlantis, it is still very much soup weather. This hearty soup, zesty with crushed tomato and full of creamy texture from the soft-cooked split lentils and sweet corn, is a rich and reassuring dish on a cold winter’s night that almost is reminiscent of summer. Create some pretty contrast with basil chiffonade and you’ve created a dish that is not only wholesome and hearty but lovely to behold.

I make this soup in my slow cooker (seriously, look into getting one if you don’t as slow cookers are one of the more affordable assets for one’s kitchen), and after a quick sauté, everything is tumbled together and dinner is ready in a few hours. You can also make this on the stove top in one soup pot, cooking the lentils in about 25 minutes. 

Tomato Lentil Soup

4 1/3 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 T. tamari
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups split red lentils, rinsed, sorted and drained
28-ounces crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried dill
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup frozen organic corn, defrosted
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil chiffonade, optional

Heat 1/3 cup vegetable broth in a large skillet over a medium-high flame for about a minute. Add the onion, sauté for about three minutes, then add the tamari, garlic, and carrot. Sauté for about ten minutes, until softened, adding more broth by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking.

Add this to a large slow cooker, the lentils, crushed tomatoes, dill, thyme, and remaining 4 cups of broth. Cook on the low setting for 2 1/2 hours, stir in the defrosted corn, and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with basil and crusty bread, thinking about warmer days ahead. Enjoy!

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