The other day I was hankering for some soup but fresh out of all of my soup staples, like stock and rice. Actually, my fridge basically just contained some miso paste, a mystery onion of unknown origin and some carrots I’d bought for my dog. I did, however have some lentils from this one time when they were on super sale at Whole Foods. After doing some research on how to make lentil soup, I decided that everyone else was making it too hard and that I could make a way more delicious and way easier lentil soup. This recipe makes about four cups and serves 2 (or one in my case) but can easily be doubled by… you know… doubling it. Also it turned out to be vegan by coincidence. So my question is, what kind of idiots are making lentil soup any other way?
VEGAN MISO LENTIL SOUP
1 cup green lentils
4 cups cold water
1/2 onion (yellow, white, sweet, whatever)
2 large carrots, peeled (I only used one because I wanted to give the other to my dog. Two would have been better)
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp cider vinegar (white, balsamic or rice vinegar would also be fine)
4 Tbsp sweet white miso (I recommend South River Miso)
1. Rinse your lentils in a colander. If you forget to rinse your lentils this will become immediately apparent when you add water to them and they look gross. If that happens, just kind of use the lid to drain the water off and, ta-da! Rinsed lentils. Theoretically you’re also supposed to search your lentils for any rocks or debris but I didn’t do this and I lived.
2. Add the water and lentils to a soup pot. Add some salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to medium-low or wherever your stove needs to be for your soup to simmer. Plan on simmering for 45 min, so check the time/ set an alarm.
3. While you’re waiting for your pot to boil, heat a small pan with some olive oil in it over medium-low. Smash and mince your garlic and add it to the oil. Chop your onion and your carrots in to soup size pieces.
4. After a minute or two add the onion to the pan. Your pan should not be so hot that things start sizzling/burning. The onion should just be sort of hanging out and slowly cooking. After 10 minutes add the carrot and saute for another 5 minutes.
5. Add your garlic, onion and carrot mixture to the pot. By now your pot should have been simmering for about 15 minutes, but it’s okay if it’s been more or less time. Cover the pot and go watch TV for a half hour.
6. Okay, come back to the pot and take a look. Does it look done? It probably is. Try a bite. Are the lentils no longer hard? Okay it’s done. Take it off the burner.
7. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to the pot. You can also free pour it, that’s what I did.
8. Okay here’s where things get crazy. Get a little bowl, like maybe the one you plan to eat out of. Make sure the soup is no longer boiling and ladle out some of the broth. Add two heaping spoonfuls of miso paste to the little bowl and mix it up until it’s sort of goopy and smooth. Now, use a spatula or spoon to transfer that goopy miso mixture back in to the pot. Stir the pot all up. Do this a second time and/or until the soup tastes good.
9. Ladle yourself a bowl and enjoy!