French lentils are an excellent source of protein, iron and fibre, making this a hearty, and comforting, plant-based soup perfect for our cold Canadian winters! Plus the touch of Herbes de Provence herb blend gives it a beautiful aroma that’ll remind you of warmer days. This soup is perfect served with a rustic bread, like my recipe for fast whole wheat bread. Enjoy preparing and eating!
Cook’s Note: Cut the vegetables to approximately the same size, to ensure even cooking. For efficiency, it helps to have all the vegetables cut up before you start making the soup.
Use organic ingredients when possible
2 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped
2 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
6 cups homemade or low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup dry French (a.k.a. Puy) lentils or green lentils, rinsed in a fine-mesh strainer
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
8-10 mini red or yellow potatoes, left whole or halved
1 ¼ cups green beans fresh or frozen, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 x 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, with juice
3-4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
In a Dutch oven (or other heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the carrots, parsnips, and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
Next, add the stock, rinsed lentils, and Herbes de Provence. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and add sea salt and pepper, as needed.
Add the potatoes and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Add the tomatoes by hand-crushing them into the soup, and the juice too, along with the green beans in the final 5 minutes of cooking. Add the baby spinach in the final minute or two, until just wilted.
Taste again, and adjust seasonings as desired. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more stock or water to thin.
Serve this soup as is or with fresh chunks of crusty bread for dunking. This particular recipe makes a big batch perfect for freezing. Any leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for about 1 month.