Summer Lentil Soup with Garlic Bread

It is such a tick-off when you start feeling under the weather right on the eve of a long weekend... not to mention the _last_ long weekend of the summer and the one where you had plans for beach picnic and doing tourist-y things in San Francisco. But that is exactly what happened - right around Friday afternoon was when I started feeling some early onset of cough and sore throat. Not very surprising considering the little one was coughing on and off sporadically last few days. Before I became a Mom I used to wonder how grown-ups can have cold and cough multiple times a year, unfortunately now I know only too well how the chain of germ breeding ground moves from sharing toys to hugging Mommy & Daddy :)

Anyway, after my third cup of coffee on Saturday morning (all to sooth an itchy throat), I decided to make a large pot of hot soup - and that too my favorite soup, the one I always turn to  for comfort on cold winter nights or whenever someone in family has cold or fever. Lucky for us, we were about to do our weekly visit to farmer's market - so I quickly made a mental note to buy stuff for a lentil soup and for good measure also bought a loaf of freshly baked sourdough bread to go along with my soup.

This is a very versatile recipe - swap whatever fresh vegetables you have at hand. I used green lentils, you use whatever lentil is lying to be used up in your pantry. I used dried oregano and fresh basil, you can use whatever herb combination is crowding your backyard or suits your fancy for the day :) The trick to this soup is slow simmer - can't stress this strongly enough, once the soup starts to boil, reduce heat to as low as your gastop would allow, cover and forget about it for another 40mins or so. Then check the done-ness of the lentils by tasting a little bit and cook further as needed.
Summer Lentil Soup
Recipe: serves 8
1C green lentils
5C water
3Tbsp olive oil
4-5 fat garlic cloves - smashed
1 leak - insides cleaned thoroughly and chopped finely
3 celery sticks - chopped
1 medium potato - chopped finely
1 zucchini - chopped finely
2 large tomatoes - chopped finely
handful of broccoli florets - chopped into smaller florets
2 small carrots - chopped finely
1/2tsp dried oregano
handful of fresh basil
1tsp paprika
1/2tsp turmeric powder
dash of red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

  • Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add chopped leaks and celery - cook until leaks are softened (a few mins)
  • Then add potatoes, celery, carrots, zucchini, broccoli and tomatoes - stir and let cook for a few more mins
  • Then add lentils, water and turmeric, paprika and oregano. Add enough salt and stir to combine
  • Let the soup come to  a boil. Reduce heat to lowest and let soup simmer covered for nearly 40mins
  • After about 40mins, taste lentils for done-ness and if needed cook further or adjust water accordingly.
  • Remove from heat. Add vinegar, basil leaves and black pepper. Serve hot with garlic bread.
Garlic bread:
Sliced bread (sourdough or whole-wheat)
Olive oil
Fresh peeled garlic clove

  • Toast sliced bread using toaster until crisp and outside starts getting golden.
  • Brush olive oil on the toasted bread
  • Rub the garlic clove on toasted bread
  • Enjoy immediately!