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Friday, June 21, 2024

Vegan Smoky Lentil Soup

Here’s a recipe for a “smoky” vegan lentil soup that is both inexpensive and uses ingredients commonly found in the Philippines. This soup is hearty, nutritious, and infused with a smoky flavor that makes it delicious and satisfying.

Ingredients:

1 cup dried lentils (green or brown)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil or any cooking oil)

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, diced

1 large potato, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 can (400g) diced tomatoes or 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon soy sauce (for umami flavor)

6 cups vegetable broth or water

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

1-2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional, for extra smoky flavor)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (optional, for garnish)

Lemon wedges (optional, for serving)

Instructions:

Prepare the Lentils:

Rinse the lentils thoroughly under running water and set aside.

Sauté the Aromatics:

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Add Vegetables:

Add the diced carrot, potato, and red bell pepper to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften.

Season and Add Tomatoes:

Stir in the smoked paprika and ground cumin, and cook for 1 minute to release their flavors.

Add the diced tomatoes (with their juice) to the pot, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Simmer the Soup:

Add the rinsed lentils, vegetable broth or water, soy sauce, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir to combine.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, covered, for about 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

Adjust the Flavor:

Once the lentils are cooked, taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. If using, stir in the liquid smoke for extra smoky flavor.

If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water or vegetable broth to reach your desired consistency.

Serve:

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, if desired.

Serve with lemon wedges on the side for a fresh burst of flavor.

Tips:

You can easily find smoked paprika and liquid smoke in larger grocery stores or online. If these are not available, you can achieve a smoky flavor by adding a small amount of chipotle powder or a few drops of smoked liquid seasoning.

For extra protein, you can add some tofu cubes or chickpeas to the soup.

Serve with a side of crusty bread or over a bed of rice for a more filling meal.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Serving Size: About 1 cup (assuming the recipe makes around 6 servings)

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Calories180
Total Fat6g
Saturated Fat0.5g
Trans Fat0g
Cholesterol0mg
Sodium320mg
Total Carbohydrates28g
Dietary Fiber10g
Sugars5g
Protein8g
Vitamin A60% DV
Vitamin C50% DV
Calcium6% DV
Iron20% DV

Breakdown of Key Ingredients:

Lentils: High in protein and fiber, providing a good source of plant-based protein.

Vegetable oil: Adds some healthy fats necessary for cooking and flavor.

Onion and garlic: Low in calories, they add essential vitamins and minerals.

Carrot and potato: Provide vitamins A and C, along with additional fiber.

Red bell pepper: High in vitamins A and C, adding to the nutrient profile.

Tomatoes: Rich in vitamins C and K, and potassium.

Smoked paprika and ground cumin: Add flavor without significant calories.

Vegetable broth: Low in calories but can vary in sodium content.

Soy sauce: Adds umami flavor, but also contributes to the sodium content.

Liquid smoke (if used): Adds smoky flavor with negligible nutritional impact.

Notes:

Calories and Macronutrients: The calorie content primarily comes from the lentils and vegetables, with a small contribution from the oil used for sautéing.

Fiber: Lentils are a significant source of dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and satiety.

Protein: Lentils provide a good amount of plant-based protein.

Vitamins and Minerals: The soup is rich in vitamins A and C, thanks to the vegetables used.

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