Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vegan black lentil, veggie & fusilli soup

One of the things I discovered while at Whole Foods this past weekend was black lentils. They don't carry them in the stores near my house, and I don't think I've ever seen them in person. I grabbed them on a whim because I cook with green, brown and red lentils quite often and these looked like a fun change. Since I am trying to eat as many vegan meals as possible, I like to make sure there is enough protein in my diet, and lentils are one of the best sources for plant-based protein. I looked around on Pinterest for some black lentil recipes but I wanted the dish to incorporate a grain as a complementary protein source to pair with the lentils and I wasn't finding any recipes that were exactly what I wanted, so I made this one up. It turned out to be quite delicious and I will definitely be adding it into my regular rotation, especially with fall and winter coming up (although I may switch out the zucchini for a winter vegetable). The black lentils were amazing, they didn't taste quite as earthy as the brown variety which was nice to switch it up; they also did not fall apart as easily as the brown. The overall taste of this soup reminds me a little of pasta e fagioli, only this was easier to prepare because you don't have to soak lentils. It's very filling and even my 19-month-old liked it :)

Vegan black lentil, veggie & fusilli soup
serves 10-12

4 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
2 cups dry black lentils, rinsed
2 cups fusilli pasta 
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 tbsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. salt, or to taste

In a large stock pot, heat oil and add onions, sauteing for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more. Add in carrots, lentils, vegetable stock, water, thyme, salt and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.Meanwhile, boil pasta according to package directions. Add in tomatoes and zucchini to soup pot and simmer 6-7 minutes more. Add in fresh parsley and turn off the heat. Now you can either stir in the pasta, or keep it separate and mix into individual bowls if you're worried about it becoming too soft. Serve with fresh ground black pepper. 


Sorry about the bad quality photo, it was getting dark outside so it turned out grainy, meh.

Hope you enjoy this soup as much as we did!

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