This lentil soup recipe is a perfect comfort food recipe for a cold and rainy day. Nutritious and delicious, you can also modify it to be vegetarian or vegan.
Lentil soup is one of my mother’s specialties; she may not be too great at roasting lamb or duck, but she makes the best lentil soup! It’s an Egyptian thing: lentil soup has probably been around since Ancient Egyptian times, a great source of affordable, plant-based protein. It’s so warming, filling and nourishing that a bowl of this soup with a slice of toasted and buttered bread is all you need for a satisfying dinner.
Another mistake my mother still often makes is to boil an entire chicken just to make the stock. Although that does yield a very rich stock, I think it’s incredibly wasteful. I mean, who likes to eat boiled chicken anyway? I would much rather roast my chicken or grill it and use the bones to make my stock. That’s something I learned from living on my own: how to make really good stock out of leftover bones, skin, and other generally unappreciated and undesirable cuts that most people throw away. If you want to save money on food, eat a truly nutritious meal, and get the most bang out of your buck, then learning how to make your own stock is a great way to start!
This soup is based on a chicken feet stock. A lot of poultry farms and butchers toss chicken feet or use them as animal feed. I am a firm believer in nose-to-tail eating and I live by that philosophy. For this reason, I actually buy chicken feet to make delicious, glorious, silky, chicken stock that’s better than anything you’ll ever buy in a store or make with other cuts or bones. The reason for this is that chicken feet are incredibly rich in connective tissues such as skin and cartilage, which makes for a very gelatinous stock. A little secret: gelatine is what makes a stock flavourful and rich. It’s also supposedly really good for you, so that’s a nice bonus!
I’ve modified this lentil soup recipe a bit and added turmeric (which my mother doesn’t add) as well as curry powder (also another item she doesn’t add, but I generally like extra spice).
- 5 or 6 chicken feet or wings
- 1 medium onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 liter of water
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 2 medium yellow carrots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh turmeric root
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 onion cut into strips for frying (optional)
- Canola oil (if using onion for frying)
- Bread, for serving (optional).
- Bring the water to a boil in a large stock pot. You can use this stock for a number of different soup recipes too, so you can set aside some for later. Add the chopped onion, celery, garlic, chicken feet and salt.
- Boil for 1-2 hours on medium heat.
- Remove the chicken feet.
- Add the lentils, chopped carrots, turmeric, and curry powder. Simmer on medium-low heat for another hour. If necessary, add more water if too much of it evaporates or gets absorbed.
- Fry the onions if using in a bit of canola oil.
- Once the lentils and carrots are cooked, remove from heat and let cool for an hour or so, until your blender can handle it.
- Once cooled, ladle in batches into the blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Return to low heat and warm up until heated through.
- Serve with toasted bread and fried onions on top (optional). Enjoy!
Do you enjoy lentil soup? How do you make it? What interesting ingredients do you add to it? Let me know in the comments!
This recipe can be modified to be vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. For more meat-free recipes, check out:
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