A Delicious and Easy Lentil Soup Recipe
I don’t know where you live, but in northeastern Ohio where I and most of my family live, the days are getting shorter and cooler, and the nights are sometimes downright chilly. For me, this signals perfect weather for some of my favorite, easy-to-prepare healthy food recipes.
One of my all-time favorites is a healthy, totally vegetarian lentil soup that uses carrots, celery, onion and vegetable stock. But, if you would prefer a non-vegetarian treat, just use beef or chicken stock. Either way it tastes so good on a chilly fall day. Both I and my family absolutely love it.
And, to answer the question “Are lentils gluten-free?” The answer is absolutely yes unless they are processed in a facility that also handles gluten-containing grain or other gluten-contaminated substances…check the label or contact the manufacturer.
Here’s how to make my favorite lentil soup recipe.
Important Warning: Recently, I learned that packaged dried beans, lentils and peas or other legumes, such as you usually find in the major grocery stores, may actually be contaminated with gluten. It doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes storage facilities, transportation equipment and processing plant production lines will contaminate dried beans, lentils and peas after storing, transporting or processing “gluten-y” items. But, it happens often enough that I think gluten-free’rs need to be worried about it. Please read more about it here.
- 1 Cup Lentils, Dry
- 4 Cups Water
- 2 Cups Carrots, Celery and/or Onion, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 Each Bay Leaf, or Other Dried Herbs, optional (no salt or sugar in these)
- 1 Cup Stock, Vegetable (or Beef or Chicken), last 5 minutes, optional
- Sea Salt, Gluten-Free Tamari Soy Sauce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Other Seasonings, last 5 minutes, optional
Pick through the lentils to remove any foreign matter (like clumps of dirt, stones, other seeds from the sorting equipment).
Rinse the lentils in a colander or strainer to remove any dirt and dust. Presoaking is not required for lentils.
In a pot with a lid, cover the lentils with water, bring to a boil.
Add vegetables and bay leaf but nothing with salt or sugar at this point.
Reduce heat and let them simmer until tender, approximately 20-30 minutes. Keep pot partially covered at all times. Stir only occasionally, so as not to break the skins. Add hot water as needed to keep lentils covered.
Last five minutes, add stock and seasonings, especially anything containing salt or sugar. (Adding these earlier causes skin to toughen.)
Dry lentils, peas and beans can be stored for up to a year before they will begin to loose their taste and take longer to cook.
This is one of my gluten-free recipes designed for those with gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease, but I’ve found that people who have no food allergies like it, too. It is wheat-free, barley-free and rye-free. Also, it is casein-free, dairy-free, lactose-free, egg-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free. This whole-foods soup can be vegetarian or meat-based.
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