This bright, citrusy lemon lentil soup is just what the cold weather is calling for these days — and it was good enough to get me out of my food blogging slump! If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is. I made this soup last week, and then decided I just had to make it again this weekend to share with all of you. It’s a little tangy from the lemon, warming and comforting from the spices, and filling, but not heavy. I have a feeling you’ll like it as much as I did!
I found this recipe on the blog Gimme Some Oven, and was immediately drawn to the bright yellow color of the soup – it looked like just the thing to combat the frigid temperates here in Chicago. Luckily, it couldn’t be easier to make either. I prepared it on the stovetop, but you could easily make this via crock pot or instant pot if that’s more your style. As I don’t have either appliance, I’d suggest you check out the original recipe for instructions (I’ll link it in the recipe notes below). Even on the stovetop, this probably takes just 40 minutes to come together, and that includes chopping time for the veggies.
A couple carrots (I was thrilled when a few arrived in this week’s farm share box, which is either ridiculous or wonderful that I can continue to be this excited about vegetable arrivals. I’m sticking with wonderful.) and an onion make the base of the soup. The beautiful yellow color comes from a combination of the spices (cumin, curry powder, and a pinch of turmeric, if you like) and the red lentils, which turn a pale yellow when cooked. You’ll also notice some corn kernels floating throughout – that was my personal preference. You could blend those right in to the soup (I did this the first time I made it), or add some in after blending for a little extra texture. I’d highly recommend leaving some corn to add in last. The added bites of corn made this much more interesting!
A big bowl of this soup goes perfectly with a side salad (I kept it simple with spinach, dried cranberries, and avocado) and perhaps some seedy crackers or a nice piece of French bread. Extra lemon slices in the soup are the perfect garnish (and I loved how they intensified the lemon flavor in the bowl itself!).
I’ll stop talking now and let you get to cooking… a bowl of sunshine is waiting for you!
Lemon Lentil Soup
Time: 40 minutes
Adapted from: Lemony Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground curry
1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional, but it helps the yellow color!)
6 cups vegetable stock
1 and 1/2 cups red lentils (rinse and check through the lentils, just looking to make sure there’s nothing that’s not a lentil)
1 cup whole kernel corn, divided (I used frozen, but if you have fresh or canned, either will be fine)
Pinch of saffron (optional; it adds a nice touch, but can be expensive, so strictly not necessary)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and carrots and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and carrots have softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and let cook for another minute. Finally, stir in the spices and let them brown for about 30 seconds.
Pour in the vegetable stock, add lentils and 1/2 cup of the corn. Add saffron if using. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower heat, cover and let cook for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest.
Once the lentils are softened, use an immersion blender to purée the soup to your desired consistency (mostly smooth with a few possible chunks is mine). Finally, stir in the last 1/2 cup of corn. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed. Serve warm with extra lemon slices and freshly cracked pepper.