Do you ever get stuck when deciding what to serve your dinner guests? I do! Actually, I’m terrible at it. I fret and overthink it until I’m paralyzed. It’s a bad habit that can interfere with the joy of having company. This guest worthy French Lentil Soup will stop all that fruitless worry. It’s easy, delicious, healthy, and pretty enough to share with even your pickiest guests.
A few weeks ago my husband was feeling run down and unwell. He complained of a sore throat and felt a cold might be coming on. I wanted to make him a healing soup. It had to be something warm that contained a ton of ginger and turmeric. Since he loves the coconut soup at our local Vietnamese restaurant, I had the idea for trying to recreate it using coconut oil, ginger, shiitake mushrooms and spices.
As the summer comes to an end, I feel a yearning for light soups. The air is cooler and the sun’s arc is shifting. But I know summer is really ending when vendors at the farmers market sell the last of their beautiful tomatoes for a mere dollar a pound.
It seems that flavorful tomatoes are hard to come by these days. Many are tasteless. So when I happen upon a sweet one, I cherish it. No chance of roasting or cooking these valued gems. I savor them raw to experience their full tomato glory. But now that the heat of the summer sun is passing and I can get juicy tomatoes at a deep discount, I happily buy a bag to make this light and charming roasted tomato soup.
I fell in love with Gallo Pinto the first time I tasted it in Costa Rica. I was in my early 20’s and fairly new to International travel. My prior experience as a student abroad in Spain, led me to believe that being vegetarian outside of the United States, was difficult. My Spanish host family struggled with my vegetarianism and continually put fish, chicken, and meat on my plate. Thankfully, Pelayo, their neglected Irish Setter came to my rescue. He secretly ate all the items I squirreled away in my napkin. We were best friends.
I love lentils. Unlike other beans, they cook quickly, are rich in protein, easier to digest than other beans and produce a healthy, flavorful soup that will become a staple in your home. I have tried many lentil soup recipes over the years, but this one is my favorite hands down.
If brown lentils have ever seemed boring or lackluster, then you are in for a treat. The beauty of this recipe is the triple lentil combination. You simmer red, black and brown lentils in spices that are warm and nourishing.
Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines in the world. I love the warming spices in the dals, the lentil and mulligatawny soups, veggie samosas with tamarind sauce, saag aloo, chana masala, aromatic basmati rice, and doughy naan bread. Writing this makes me hungry for Indian food. Indian food is vegetarian friendly so it’s typically my back up cuisine when I travel.