Meatless Monday Lentil Soup Recipe

While we do eat meat as a family--we also frequently limit the amount of meat that we eat each week.  Meatless Monday is an opportunity each week for us to get a little creative with meatless proteins as we create our meals.  What's for dinner tonight?  One of my favorite, easy, meatless meals is lentil soup.  The soup is on the table in less than an hour from start to finish--and it's a great fall comfort food dinner.  The leftovers store and reheat nicely for the next day's lunch as well.  What is my favorite, go-to, lentil soup recipe?
Bowl of homemade lentil soup with bread
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Ingredients for Lentil Soup
2 tsp. Coconut Oil (or Olive or Canola Oil)
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
1 c. Carrot, Diced
1 c. Celery, Dice with Leaves
1 clove Garlic, Minced
1 lb. Dried Lentils
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Fresh Thyme or 1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
32 oz. Vegetable Broth
6 c. Water
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

pinnable image for easy vegetarian lentil soup recipe

Instructions for our Lentil Soup Recipe
Saute the Vegetables.  I cheat a little on this--and simply use my soup pot for sauteing!  Melt the oil in either a skillet--or directly in your soup pot.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots.  Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are nearly tender.  Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Vegetables cooked as the base for lentil soup.

Add the lentils & spices.  Add the lentils to the vegetable mixture and toss to coat the lentils in the oil and vegetables.  Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper.  Drop in the bay leaf.

Lentils coated in the vegetable and spice mixutre before adding the broth and water to the soup

Add the liquid and simmer.  Pour in the vegetable broth and the water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer with a vented lid over low heat for 30-40 minutes or until the lentils are tender and have absorbed most of the cooking liquid.

Homemade lentil soup with bread

Add Balsamic Vinegar and serve.  Stir in 1-2 Tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar.  I use 2 Tbsp--then generally add more to my bowl.  I serve with a salad and breadsticks and offer extra salt and balsamic vinegar at the table.

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