I can’t get over how convenient lentils are. I only recently discovered them, but I have not made a bad dish with them yet. They taste great with a wide variety of ingredients and cook easily so it really is hard to truly ruin a lentil dish. That being said, I’m sure Justin could find a way. Just kidding.
No I’m not.
This is Tomato Cabbage Lentil Soup, so those are your three main ingredients. I swear to you it doesn’t matter how much you put in of each it will still taste good. Only have a 1/4 head of cabbage? Awesome, put that in. Oh, you have a whole head and want to use it all? Still awesome. What, you don’t have cabbage? Well now it’s not going to be Tomato Cabbage Lentil Soup, it’s going to be Tomato Lentil Soup. But it’s okay, that’s still a thing and it’s delicious. After that throw in whatever you think sounds good, it probably won’t suck.
1 onion (small-medium size)
1 celery stalk
28 ounce can whole tomatoes (you can use diced, I just prefer whole)
8 cups liquid (tomato liquid + water or broth)
1/2 small head green cabbage (shredded, 2-3 cups)
1/2 tsp cumin (ground)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp basil (dried)
1/2 tsp paprika
3-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup brown lentils
1 tsp oil
Prepare you garlic, onion, cabbage, celery, carrot, and tomatoes. Reserve your tomato liquid (tomato chunks can be as large or small as you want).
Heat oil in your soup pot and add you garlic/onions. Heat over medium/medium low heat until onion starts to become translucent.
Add your carrot/celery. Cook for a couple minutes, just to get them started.
Add your cabbage and lightly salt. Cook until it starts to reduce in size.
Add your tomatoes.
Immediately followed by your liquid. Add water to your reserved tomato liquid to equal 8 cups. You can use vegetable broth if you want. I hate buying broth and I never have extra vegetables lying around that I’m willing to use for a broth–so I use water.
Heat until a simmer and add your paste and spices. I add half of my basil now and half of it at the end because apparently cooking herbs for too long kills their flavor, so you’re supposed to add them near the end of your cooking. Personally, from experience, I’m inclined to think not but experts say so. So whatever, I just split the difference. One day I’ll make an actual decision.
Heat until a boil and add your lentils. Then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until cabbage and lentils are done.
Salt and pepper to taste. I think I added 3/4 tsp salt total and I forgot to add pepper. I love this soup because it’s awesome how much soup you can get from so little ingredients. Plus it’s stupid easy.