Simple says it best when making homemade soup. Red Split Lentil soup is a nice comfort food on cold days or any day you want something quick and easy to make. It takes only 6 simple ingredients to make this soup and it tastes great with a piece of crusty buttered bread. Of course the wonderful thing about this soup is that it is full of vitamin C and is heart healthy.
When it comes to soups I like to experience the different textures and layers of taste. This Red Split Lentil soup is smooth yet has layers of subtle textures from the carrots, onions, peppers and diced bacon. If you are not a fan of pork you can substitute it with smoked turkey or go meatless.
I was surprised when my youngest son was eager to try lentil soup. Most kids hear the word lentil and immediately make a face followed by “blah”. I guess the day I made the lentil soup was one of his more adventurous days. Surprisingly, he loved it even with the cooked carrots which he claims to dislike immensely. My son reminds me of a character in a book I recently read called “The Housekeeper and the Professor” by Yoko Ogawa. In the book, the housekeeper is constantly trying to find new ways to hide carrots in the professor’s meals but he always seemed to find them.
Adding lots of vegetables to soups are a great way to get kids (and some adults) to eat veggies and develop their taste buds for new foods. Start with a simple soup and then pair it with something they like. Try a sandwich, crackers or warm crusty bread. They will not be able to resist.
Red Split Lentil Soup
1 16 oz bag of red split lentils
2 strips of bacon diced
1 10 oz bag of shredded carrots
2 green scallions sliced
½ medium onion diced
½ red pepper diced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp dill
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Over medium high heat, slightly brown bacon in a large pot until fat is rendered. Add onions and scallions sauteing until soft. Add red peppers, carrots and seasonings. Stir to mix veggies then add bay leaf, chicken broth and water. Let simmer about 5 minutes then add red split lentils and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the lentils are soft. Approximately 30 minutes. Remember to stir the soup to make sure the lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pot. If necessary, add additional broth to thin out the soup and ensure the lentils are cooked.
Serve with a piece of crusty bread and enjoy!