Creamy Veggie & Lentil Soup
This soup is truly a shining example that food can be both delicious and nutritious! One of our family favorites - this is loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants like beta carotene, rich in fiber, and very hearty - filling and satisfying. You can make it with vegetable broth for a vegan soup, or we like the flavor and gut-healing collagen that a good chicken bone broth gives it.
2 leeks (rinse very well, dirt likes to hide in them. Chop - discarding the very top/tough green portion) Alternatively, you can use a small yellow or white onion, chopped
I medium butternut squash (peeled and diced)
3 medium carrots (peeled and diced)
1 small potato (diced)
3-4 ribs of celery (diced)
1 cup yellow lentils (they actually look kinda orange to me - green lentils work if you can't find yellow)
2 parsnips (diced)
1 32 oz. container of vegetable stock or chicken bone broth/stock
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
2 teaspoons of high quality salt (more to taste)
fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Avocado or Olive oil for sauteing (Plus 3 Tablespoons for blending the soup, and optionally infused olive oil for drizzling if you like)
1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of chopped parsley (I chop extra for adding extra into the bowls when serving)
Optional - 2 cloves of garlic, chopped (if using, add in when you add in the broth)
3-4 ribs of dinosaur kale, rinsed, stems removed, and chopped - or baby spinach (chopped)
Parmesan cheese - to grate on top if you like
Prep (rinse, peel and chop) all of the ingredients. This is the most time-consuming part - if you can find a sous chef - definitely put them to work!!
Heat to medium 2 Tablespoons of Avocado or Olive oil in large heavy bottom pan
Put the leeks and saute with the lid on for a couple minutes (if using onions, saute for about 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent)
Add in the broth & water, all the chopped veggies (except the kale or spinach), the salt, pepper and dried herbs, and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add in the lentils, chopped parsley, apple cider vinegar, and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until veggies are tender but not mushy.
Scoop out about 2-3 cups of the soup into a blender. Add in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil and blend (this will emulsify the oil and make the soup thicker and creamier).
Pour the blended soup back into the pot and stir. If you want to blend all of it you can - but I like my soup just partly blended.
Taste and adjust the salt and seasoning.
If adding in kale, I add it into the pot now and cook on a low simmer for 5 more minutes. If using baby spinach, I just add it to the bowls when serving and let it wilt for a minute or two before eating it.
To serve: You can keep it really clean and just add in some fresh chopped parsley, and chopped kale or baby spinach. Or you can grate some fresh parmesan on, and serve alongside a crusty slice of toasted sourdough or gluten free bread. We love to add a drizzle of infused olive oil from Baker and Olive on top of ours - I like a little heat on my, so my favorites are Harissa or Baklouti chili oil. My hubby and kids like to put some Garlic oil. If you have never tried infused olive oils - they are really a game-changer for just upleveling food!! Serve & enjoy!
This soup makes approx. 8 servings. It keeps in the refrigerator in an air tight container for a couple days. It also freezes very well if you want to save some for another night - but we usually can eat all of it in a couple of days!