the taste space

Tomato Red Lentil Soup with Dill

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by Janet M on January 23, 2014

I love it when Houston behaves itself.

Rob and I had another Canadian visitor recently. In between Polar Vortex 1 and Polar Vortex 2, Houstonians enjoyed balmy (normal) summery weather at its finest. You know, summer how it is meant to be: around 25ºC. None of that feels like 38ºC with 90% humidity forecast. None of that below freezing business (that’s tonight, by the way).

Together, we did more touristy things than we had ever done before: hiking next to alligators, admiring the Museum of Fine Art’s impressive gold collection, watching Americana in our backyard via the Martin Luther King Jr Parade. However, I still skipped out on the stereotypical NASA Space Center visit. We still shared our favourite haunts but explored new restaurants as well. Nearly every meal was pre-planned. My friend had so many restaurants she wanted to try!

After the whirlwind of a visit (if you knew my friend, you would know this is no overstatement), both Rob and my friend parted for Canada. One to Toronto and the other to Winnipeg. Both returned to temperatures around -20ºC (-4F). Yesterday, my friend in Winnipeg told me it was -40ºC with the windshield. For those that need a conversion to Fahrenheit, at -40, both Celsius and Fahrenheit scales collide. Collide and freeze. They are the same. Both, really, really cold.

With the imminent cold weather, I am sharing another warming soup. Red lentils are a perfect blank canvas for a hearty meal. Pureed tomatoes and red lentils are combined with cauliflower and brown rice in a broth spiced with cumin, mustard and dill. I never would have thought to combine those flavours together but the dill really brightened the dish. This is an excellent soup!

How have you been keeping warm lately?

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

PS. The winner of Balanced Raw is Marquis. Congratulations!

Tomato Red Lentil Soup with Dill
Adapted from Let Them Eat Vegan (original recipe also found here)

1 tbsp coconut oil, or oil of choice
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 small head of cauliflower, chopped (1.5 cups)
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dill seeds
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
3.5 cups water
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 bay leaf
1.5 cups passata (strained tomatoes) – can substitute crushed tomatoes
2-3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion, sprinkle with salt and saute until softened. Add carrots and cauliflower, cover and saute until softened and the onions have browned. Stir in the garlic and saute until fragrant, around 1 minute. Stir in the cumin seeds, ground cumin, dill seeds, dry mustard and fry until fragrant, another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Deglaze the pot with the water and stir in the brown rice and lentils. Raise heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Add bay leaf and cover, simmering for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils have cooked through. Add cooked brown rice and simmer until warmed through, around 5 minutes more. Check periodically to see whether you need to add water. Once cooked completely, stir in passata/tomatoes. Remove bay leaf and top with fresh dill.

Serves 4.

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25 Responses

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  1. Deena Kakaya said, on January 23, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    That looks a lovely texture z

  2. Rob said, on January 23, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    I have been keeping warm with thoughts of Janet hugs.

  3. Veronica @ Veggie V said, on January 23, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    I love acting like a tourist in my own town :) Well, right now I am a tourist in my own town since we moved here in September and didn’t get to enjoy any of the summer activities. (We live on Lake Michigan.) Winter sure isn’t fun :-/

    My husband would love this soup! He’s developed a real fondness for cauliflower. I have three recipes in the wings to try in the next few days. Looks like this one will be added to the list!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      It is fun to explore your own city as a tourist.. definitely cheaper without the airfare. I hope you get to try out some fun winter activities, though. Last year there was no snow to go snowshoeing in Toronto, but I doubt there would be a problem this year. :)
      Please let me know if you make this and how you like it.

  4. realrawkitchen said, on January 23, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Wow. This sounds delicious and perfectly warming. And I cannot even fathom what 40 below feels like. I don’t even think my brain can understand that. The lowest I have experienced is probably the 20s or teens (F) … It’s not really cold here in Miami (except for right now, we’re all shivering in the 45(F) weather!!) so warming soups seem kinda like a random luxury here. But I remember when I lived back home in the mountains, on a cold night a soup like this would be perfect! I think I’ll make it tonight for our own version of winter haha

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      “Your version of winter” – Miami-style, yeah. Houston is cold today with ice, so this is their winter commotion. Please let me know how you like the soup.

  5. Laura said, on January 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    It cold here – and hot soup is the only thing that is sounding good! Luckily I’ve got canned garden tomatoes – perfect for this! Yum!

  6. Eileen said, on January 23, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Well, it isn’t cold here in CA, although it did actually freeze for about two seconds at the beginning of December. Still, I can pretend it’s real winter with hot and hearty soups like this! SO good. :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Eileen, you are funny. I suppose California has their own challenges with the lack of rain… although I am not complaining at all about the lack of snow. :)

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on January 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    Oh I love the addition of dill here! Perfect addition to a warming soup, and different than the typical winter spices!

    I think the only thing I have done in Houston is the NASA Space Center haha. But that was when I was very little and I don’t remember it. The only reason I know this happened is an old t-shirt and a couple pictures haha. I seemed to enjoy it though!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      You are too cute, Gabby. I have one friend potentially still making the trek to visit, so I may hold out and visit NASA with her. My friends had fun so it couldn’t be that bad. ;)

  8. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat said, on January 23, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Gaaaah, this looks so good. I’m scheduling for fast breaking week.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      You are going so strong with your juice fast.. I am surprised you are still able to read food blogs! Just kidding. It will be interesting to hear how you approach your meals afterwards.

  9. flickingthevs said, on January 24, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    I love lentil soups, they’re just the thing for keeping the chills out! I never would have thought of putting dill into one – it’s such a great taste, I definitely need to give this one a go!

  10. Hannah said, on January 24, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    This soup ticks all my boxes (well, apart from the peanut butter and dessert and wine boxes).

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      No one would stop you from enjoying this with some wine and a peanut butter dessert. Sounds like a wonderful way to warm up this winter.

  11. Mary Ann said, on January 25, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Made this for lunch today. It was awesome and everyone I shared it with said so too. I skipped a few ingredients like dill and cumin seeds and used freshly crushed tomatoes. Thank you Janet!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      Mary Ann, Wow, you were fast! I am so happy it resonated with you. I like how it is so versatile and you put your own spin on it. I appreciate you letting me know about your success. :)

  12. Mary Ann said, on January 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Oh and I also used chicken stock instead of water

  13. kimmythevegan said, on January 30, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Mmmm this sounds super good. I love the addition of fresh dill – I love adding it to dishes (especially anything with tomato).
    Ew to polar vortexes… glad I’m nowhere near that. It’s nice & warm here ;p

  14. Deb in Hawaii said, on February 2, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    This looks both warming and delicious–I love the addition of the dill!
    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

  15. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms) said, on February 5, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    I love red lentils in soup and spice mine up too, but I really must try adding cauliflower and rice. Great idea to bulk it out. Thanks for entering it to Bookmarked Recipes :)

  16. Life After Juicing | Gluten-Free Cat said, on February 10, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    […] This Tomato and Red Lentil Soup with Dill by Janet of The Tastes Space was perfect to take to work throughout the week. Warm and filling with the perfect amount of spice and fresh dill, it kept me singing joyfully about the wonders of cooked food again. […]


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