- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Optional vegetables*
- 1 lb. dry lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups unsalted vegetable or chicken stock**
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- Measure the olive oil into a large pot or Dutch oven and warm it over medium heat. Add the optional vegetables, if using. Stir until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Add the lentils and stir to coat. Add the diced tomatoes, stock, chili powder, garlic powder, coriander, and cumin. Stir.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 25-30 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Serve as is or use a hand blender (immersion blender)to puree it to the desired texture. I like it best partly blended such that some lentils have dissolved into the broth, while others are still fully intact. If you don’t have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender but you might have to do it in batches.
*If you have any of the following use all or some of them: 1 small onion (chopped), 2 carrots (finely chopped), 2 ribs celery (finely chopped), 1 bell pepper (finely chopped). Alternatively, use 1-2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables that you defrost and stir in before or after pureeing in Step #4.
**Instead of stock you can use plain water but the soup will be a bit bland. I really like a product called Better Than Bouillon that you can add to water to make something like stock on the fly. But regular bouillon cubes or packets will work here too, just be mindful that they can be quite salty.