Lentil soup, a classic comfort dish cherished across cultures, is elevated with smoky flavors and vegan ingredients. This hearty and nourishing vegan smoky lentil soup combines the earthiness of lentils with the richness of spices and the subtle smokiness that tantalizes the taste buds. Bursting with plant-based protein and an array of vitamins and minerals, this soup is a culinary delight and a nutritional powerhouse. Let’s embark on a culinary journey and explore the step-by-step recipe for crafting a bowl of vegan smoky lentil soup that will warm your soul and awaken your senses.
Ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (adjust to taste)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (fire-roasted, if available)
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- Lemon wedges (for serving)
1. Prepare the Lentils
In a large bowl, rinse the lentils thoroughly under cold water and drain. Set them aside while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Sauté the Aromatics
Olive oil should be heated over slow medium heat in a big soup pot. Add the chopped carrots, celery, and onion. For about 5–7 minutes, or until the veggies are soft and the onion is clear, sauté the ingredients.
3. Add the Flavors
Stir in the minced garlic, smoked paprika, ground cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
4. Incorporate the Lentils
Add the rinsed lentils to the pot, and give everything a good stir to coat the lentils with the aromatic mixture.
5. Introduce the Liquid
Pour in the vegetable broth & add the can of diced tomatoes (including the juice). Stir to combine.
6. Infuse the Smoky Element
Drizzle the liquid smoke over the soup, adjusting the amount to your desired level of smokiness. Liquid smoke can be potent, so start with a small amount and add more if needed.
7. Season and Simmer
Toss in the bay leaves, and season the soup with salt & black pepper to taste. Give the mixture a final stir, then bring the soup to a gentle boil.
8. Simmer to Perfection
Turn the heat down to low, put a lid on the pot, and let the soup boil for 25 to 30 minutes. During this time, the lentils will cook and take on the tastes of the broth and spices.
9. Adjust Consistency
As the soup simmers, keep an eye on the liquid level. If the soup becomes too thick, add some more vegetable in broth to achieve your desired Consistency.
10. Taste and Adjust
Once the lentils are tender and the flavors have melded, taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Add more salt, pepper, or cayenne to suit your preferences.
11. Serve with Freshness
When the soup is ready to serve, take out the bay leaves. Pour the spicy lentil soup for vegans into bowls. Add color and taste with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro.
12. Enhance with Citrus
For an added touch of brightness, serve the soup with lemon wedges on the side. The flavor of the soup can be improved by adding a few drops of fresh lemon juice just before it is served to compensate for the richness of the soup.
13. Enjoy the Culinary Journey
Ladle the aromatic, smoky, and nourishing vegan lentil soup into bowls. Savor each spoonful, allowing the flavors to dance on your palate as the warmth of the soup soothes your senses.
Crafting a vegan smoky lentil soup bowl is a culinary adventure that celebrates the fusion of wholesome ingredients and bold flavors. With a base of hearty lentils and a symphony of spices, this soup showcases the versatility and deliciousness of plant-based cooking. Whether enjoyed as a comforting meal on a chilly day or as a celebration of vibrant flavors, this vegan smoky lentil soup is a testament to the art of nourishing your body and satisfying your taste buds—all while embracing the richness of vegan cuisine.