I hope you didn’t think I had forgotten to make my “big batch” food this week. Because I will be living on a strict points budget for the next few days as I attempt to balance out my birthday festivities, I knew that I needed something super filling. I also had a pretty busy weekend and needed to whip up something with the items in my pantry. I have had a pretty jar full of red lentils sitting on the buffet for quite some time, and I decided to make a batch of lentil, carrot and tomato soup. I made this soup a few times back in the fall, and it is quick, easy and good! I also had some amazing lentils as part of my main course at the inn so I had lentils on my mind.
I know that I promised the other day that I would try not to post recipes with hard to find ingredients. I may have a compromise. I promise to try not to post recipes with ingredients that aren’t readily available unless I can suggest a substitution. That is the case with this recipe.
From time to time, I buy a new cookbook and set out to experiment. The last time I embarked on one of these little adventures, I found myself at the big international grocery store in nearby Falls Church, VA. I was on the hunt for a number of things including Za’atar. As you will see in the photo, I found it… but only in a rather large quantity. I’ve used it in this soup a couple of times before. It is also delicious sprinkled on top of olive oil and eaten with bread or used to dust the top of a Focaccia. If you are able to find it, you will probably find plenty of uses for it. I considered making this recipe with the substitution that I’m going to suggest, but, I have a huge container of this stuff so I decided to just stick with the Za’atar.
Super Quick Lentil, Carrot and Tomato Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup dried red lentils (you could use another type of lentils, but the cooking time might be slightly longer)
1 28 can crushed tomatoes
8 cups water
1 Tbsp. Za’atar or 2 tsp oregano, 2 tsp basil and 1 tsp thyme
1 3/4 tsp salt (plus more if you desire)
Pepper to taste
Heat oil in large pot (1 used my 8 qt. soup pot).
Sauté the onions and carrots in the oil for seven minutes or until they start to soften. Add tomatoes, water and lentils to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and then cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Unofficially, this makes 6 BIG servings at 2 points each.
Make sure to slice the carrots thinly so that they will be finished cooking when the rest of the things in the pot are ready. At the end of the 20 minutes, the lentils will have started to break down, which I prefer as it makes the soup a bit creamy, but the carrots will probably still be a little bit al dente. I think that carrots usually get lost in my soups so I’m glad to highlight them in this one.
As you can see, this recipe makes a lot of soup for very few points. That’s just what I need this week. I’ll bet you can guess what I’m having for lunch. I hope everyone has a great week!! Spring is coming… I can’t wait to get my mitts on some fresh spring veggies, but I’ll keep enjoying my hearty soups until then.