Recipe French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika

French Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika

gluten-free, soy-free, gluten-free, oil-free option

Recipe from Let Them Eat Vegan.

French lentils, sometimes called Le Puy lentils, hold their shape nicely, a little more than brown (green) lentils do. They are lovely in this soup, which has deep, smoky, and earthy flavors yet is very quick to prepare and cook.

splash water (or 1/2 – 1 tablespoon olive oil)
1½ cups diced onion
1 cup carrot that has been cut in disks
4 to 5 medium to large cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons dried thyme
1¼ to 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups French lentils, rinsed (see note)
2 cups vegan vegetable stock (check label for allergens)
5 cups water
¼ cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional, but nice)
2 tablespoons chopped chives,for garnish (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the oil, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften. Add the lentils, stir, then add the vegetable stock, water, tomato paste, and bay leaf. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or longer if needed, until the lentils are fully cooked through. Remove the bay leaf. Add the lemon juice, if using, stir, and serve, sprinkling with chopped chives, if desired.  Serves 4-5.

Kid-Friendly: Your little ones might like the smoky flavor, but if you aren’t sure, ease off on the smoked paprika, starting with just 3/4 to 1 teaspoon. You can also add precooked pasta shapes to this soup, for packing in lunches.

Savvy Subs and Adds: If you can’t find French lentils, brown (green) lentils substitute nicely.  Red lentils do not substitute well as they do not have a similar texture.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with crostini or baguette slices withTruffled Cashew Cheese (also in Let Them Eat Vegan), or a dollop of Spinach Herb Pistachio Pesto (also in LTEV).