There are so many great things about this dish. It’s full of flavour, inexpensive to make and loaded with nutrition. I make mine with slow cooked bone broth, reknown for its healing properties. However, if you’re vegan/vegetarian, you can easily substitute with a vegetable stock – it will taste equally good.
- 1 cup of brown lentils
- 1 x 400g tin/ 14oz can cannellini beans
- 1 x 400g tin/14oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander/cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika (I choose sweet paprika)
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 2 large celery sticks, finely chopped
- 2 litres/8 cups/~4 pints bone broth/chicken/vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preparing the lentils and cannellini beans
I like to soak the lentils overnight (for anywhere between 8 – 24 hours) in filtered water with a dash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I really find this step aids digestion and prevents the formation of wind-promoting gases usually associated with consuming pulses/legumes. For more detailed information, refer to the Dr Weston Price Foundation. If you’re short of time however, you can skip this process and simply use dried lentils. Either way, make sure the lentils are thoroughly rinsed before adding to this dish.
Similarly I like to soak dry cannellini beans, however these require at least 12 hours soaking (some literature recommends up to 24 hours) and then simmering for 1.5 hours. I cook big batches and freeze the beans for later use, however if you’re short of time opt for tinned beans.
Heat a large saucepan to a medium heat, add the olive oil and fry the leek, carrot and celery for around 5 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the lentils (either pre-soaked or dry) and stock and cook over a medium-low heat for an hour, allowing the soup to gently simmer.
Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, coriander, paprika and some salt and pepper and cook for another 30 minutes – 1 hour. The soup will be ready after 30 minutes, however I like to let it cook a bit longer so that it reduces to a really dense, hearty soup.
Enjoy straight away or freeze for later use.