Red lentil soup, unshelled

carrots spinachCooking healthy is one way I get through Michigan winter: being around the stove keeps one warm, the scents of cooking brightens the apartment, and a recipe gives you something to concentrate on besides the gray, chilly weather.

It’s all too easy to curl up under a blanket with a bag of chips and not come out til spring. Cooking can help stave off the ennui, and give you something healthy to eat as well.

Last time, I talked about making stock— and here’s an idea of what to do with homemade vegetable stock.

Shelled red lentils on the left; unshelled red lentils on the right.
Shelled red lentils on the left; unshelled red lentils on the right.


This is a more traditional take on lentil soup than the one with shelled red lentils I wrote about before, which were both made with shelled red lentils. Those two recipes were inspired by the minty, light lentil çorbası I dined on in Turkey.

The red lentils were purchased from Hampshire Farms in Detroit’s Eastern Market. This soup is thicker and heartier, and feel free to add any veggies you like. I happened to have tomatoes, carrots and spinach on hand, but use your imagination.


1 cup lentils

1 cup tomatoes (frozen or canned)

1 cup carrots

2 cups spinach

1 medium onion

3 cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp mint

salt and pepper, to taste

olive oil

  1. Add the diced carrots and onions to a pot, and saute for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, lentils and broth, and bring to a boil.
  3. When the stock is boiling, add the spices, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Simmer the lentils for about 30 to 40 minutes— longer than you need to cook shelled red lentils, but less time than for green lentils.
  5. When the lentils are just about done, add the spinach to the soup. Stir the leaves in, and cover to steam the spinach.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.


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