Well, I am back on a soup kick – and trying to kick those happy holiday pounds to the curb. Soups are not only weight friendly but comforting and since I am back to work and back from family holiday vacation, comfort foods may be necessary. Although I don’t think we ever had this type of spiced lentil soup growing up, but nonetheless soup is mighty comforting to me. And to help get back on track and ensure that I am starting the new year off right (since it’s in just a few days!) a protein-packed soup is perfect. Here is a nicely spiced vegan and gluten-free Cuban-Spiced Lentil Soup.
So what makes this Cuban? The spices. There is a canned bean that I used to use all the time for a raw salad that was called spiced Cuban style, so I wanted to do a riff on those beans, but didn’t want to use beans. I have had a bag of dried pink lentils in my cupboard for a few months and decided that those would be the main ingredient for this soup. I Googled Cuban spices and came up with the ones I used and they are all ones you should have in your spice cupboard or drawer. I added a ton of veggies to make this super simple spiced lentil soup even more healthful – but since it’s a soup, that’s kind of a given 🙂 This soup pulls together really fast considering it’s a soup; about 1 1/2 hours of boiling. No big deal.
Start by rinsing off your dried lentils in a strainer and picking through with your fingertips to see if anything non-lentil is there and take out if you find anything. Dump rinsed lentils, one container of broth, and all spices into a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil, then turn heat back to low-medium and put the lid on skewed and let cook about an hour, stirring periodically. About 45 minutes in start chopping all veggies. Dump all veggies into the pot and pour in more broth; let cook another 30-45 minutes, stirring periodically and adding broth as needed – you want the veggies to be just soft and the lentils to still have a bite to them. You may have left over broth at the end depending on how liquidy you want your soup, or depending on how big your pot is – my pot isn’t big or else I would have use both containers, I had about 1-2 cups leftover.
1 Bag Dried Lentils
2 Cntrs Pacific Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Chives
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
2 Tsp Paprika
2 Tsp Onion Powder
2 Tsp Dried Chili Pepper Blend
1 Tsp Black Pepper
2 Medium Onions, chopped
2 Green Peppers, chopped
4 Stalks Celery, chopped
6 Small Carrots, chopped
1 Cntr Mushrooms, chopped
1. Rinse and pick through the dried lentils. Dump into a large pot and pour in one container broth and all spices.
2. Bring pot to a rolling boil, then lower to a low-medium heat and put a lid on skewed and let cook about an hour, stirring periodically.
3. About 45 minutes in start chopping veggies. Drop all veggies into the pot and pour in more broth – enough to cover.
4. Let cook 30 – 45 more minutes with the lid off, pouring in more broth if needed.
5. Portion out and enjoy!