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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cumin Scented Lentil Soup with Country Bread Croutons

Today was not a good day. Period. What more can I say?

And when I arrived home, I needed something warm and comforting. Something familiar. So I reached into my freezer, and took out some homemade lentil soup. Already reserved for a day like this.

Everyone has days like this. Or days when it's cold or rainy outside and all you want to do is to stay at home, snuggle under a blanket, and watch movies. Or days when you are having company over, and you need an easy starter or a light lunch. Or days when you have a cold and want something that will make you feel better. Or maybe you just want to stock up the freezer in preparation for days like this (or for days when you don't have time to cook). It could even just be the end of the month and you are runny out of money. But hey, everyone needs to eat!

For all these occasions, this is the perfect recipe. Cumin Scented Lentil Soup.

Sounds kinda exotic? Don't be intimidated. Everything is easily within reach, in any grocery store anywhere in the world.

Sounds time consuming? Not at all! This recipe is so so easy. Just sweat off the veggies, add the lentils and stock, and let it cook away. Blend and serve. Could not be easier.

Think your guests might not like it? Think again! Everytime I make this recipe, my guests adore it! My husband asks me to freeze it, my friends ask for the recipe. In fact, I am making this soup and posting this recipe today to share it with my friends, who have been begging since they tried it.

So, get over any fears that you might have, and try this soup. It’s worth it! I am sure that once you try it, the ingredients will become staples in your pantry, and you will keep some in the freezer for those days when you just don't have the time.

Cumin Scented Lentil Soup with Country Bread CroutonsServes 6-8

1 tbsp Oil
2 cup Onions, Cut into chunks
1 cup Carrots, Cut into chunks
1 cup Celery, Cut into Chunks
1 Bay Leaf
2 tbsp + 1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 cups Green Lentils, Rinsed and checked for stones
2 liters of Veggie or Chicken Broth
1 tsp Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Bread Croutons
Lemon wedges

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and cumin and cook until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add bay leaf, lentils and broth. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Once lentils are cooked, remove bay leaf. Blend the soup either using a hand blender, or pouring the soup into a blender (be very careful as the soup is hot. If using a blender, work in batches, only filling the blender container halfway each time). Soup should be a thick liquid consistency. If too thick, add a little more broth. Add the remaining 1 tsp of cumin and salt. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Serve herbed bread croutons with lemon wedges for squeezing in before eating.

To freeze, let soup cool, then place in freezer proof containers or bags and freeze. Reheat over stove or in microwave

Herbed Bread Croutons
Slices of Country Bread
Herbs de Provence or any mixed dried herbs (Italian seasoning, or mix of basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Slice country bread. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with herbs and salt.
Bake in oven until toasted. Enjoy in slices or cut into chunks for soup.


  1. Yum, looks great and I love lentils.

  2. Looks great, thanks!

  3. I am sharing your having a bad day sentiment. Hang in there, it will pass. IN the meantime, thanks for the recipe. Coincidentally, I made soup yesterday, for many of the same reasons: a bad day, needing comfort food, throwing a pity party for one. Soup is always up-lifting, isn't it? I feel better knowing there are left-overs from last night, just in case I need a repeat today. Remember always: Life is good! My personal mantra, as simple as it is. I plan to make your comfort soup, thanks again.

  4. This would be perfect for a comforting hide away night and you need the movies too! Everyone is having far too many of these nights lately. We are all in this together and a good diner is a great way to fight back! Remember, "Living well is the best revenge". Thanks, s

  5. perfect soup for a blah day. or for a good day. i love having soup in the freezer...this recipe looks like a keeper! - zahavah/gayle

  6. ooh, it does look so easy and yummy, hope you've had a better day!

  7. hmmm, looks warm and comforting indeed, hope you've had a better day, i usually grab ice cream, not inventive, lol

  8. YUM - LOVE all of this post! Nothing tastes better than homemade croutons with spicy soup!

  9. Looks satisfyingly delicious!!

  10. I love soup any time, even when I'm feeling happy! This sounds like a wonderfully delicious bowl of goodness and comfort.

  11. Sorry it wasn't a good day, but glad it ended with a comforting soup! Those croutons are fantastic!