I've written many times about how much I love soup. Very often, I take whatever I have on hand and create a soup out of it. On one such day I felt like a hearty, stew-like soup and this was the result. You can certainly improvise on the type of lentils, peas and grain you have on hand. If you are not familiar with bulgar, it is a 100% whole grain that is low in fat and has a mild, nutty flavor. It is NOT gluten-free however since it comes from wheat.
It may seem like a lot of ingredients but once everything is chopped and assembled it's quite simple to make and it's worth the chopping time. It's a perfect soup for a chilly fall day in front of the fire.
Loads of Lentils and Veggies Soup
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup split pigeon peas* (toor dal)
1/2 cup crimson lentils**
1 stalk celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 heads baby bok choy
1/3 cup bulgar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable broth seasoning***
1 15 oz can chopped or whole tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Bring broth to a boil and add the pigeon peas, lentils, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Chop the white stalks of the bok choy and add to the soup. Continue to simmer 5 more minutes, covered.
Add the bulgar, water, and vegetable broth seasoning. Recover and continue to simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes with their juices (if using whole tomatoes, chop them first). Add the garlic, garlic powder, thyme and cumin. Continue to simmer 10-15 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally until peas, lentils, and vegetables are tender.
Chop the bok choy leaves and stir into the soup. Recover and simmer 5 more minutes.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley if desired.
*Split pigeon peas, also known as toor dal, are available at Indian grocers, but If you can't find them you can use yellow split peas.
**Crimson lentils are not the same as red lentils which tend to dissolve into a creamy consistency. Crimson lentils are actually more brown in color but are smaller than typical brown lentils. They hold their shape well and give a nice color to this soup, but brown lentils will work just fine too.
***For the vegetable broth seasoning, I love Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth Seasoning.