The spices in this soup make it so flavourful – cumin and garam masala. We find that its best to grind your own cumin from cumin seeds rather than buying ground cumin. You’ll get a more intense and fresh flavour, and you’ll likely notice that you need less spice to get the flavour that you’re looking for. The same goes for coriander seeds, cardamom, and cloves. You can either use a seed grinder, a good blender, or pestle and mortar. You can also grate nutmeg with a fine grater to get fresh nutmeg which makes a big difference when added to baking. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can mix up your own garam masala too – we use Vij’s recipe from his cookbook: Vij’s Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine.
If you don’t have any veggie stock, you can use a bouillon cube. Generally bouillon cubes are higher in sodium than homemade veggie stock, but adding a bouillon cube can help boost the flavour quite a bit. We like GoBio organic yeast-free vegetable bouillon cube, which can be found at most grocery stores and also at Corn Crib. If you use a bouillon cube, you’ll probably only need to add 1 tsp salt.
Cooking Tip: When cooking with dried lentils and beans, it is best to avoid adding salt before or during cooking, because it will cause the outside of the bean or lentil to become hard and the inside will separate from the outer shell and become mushy. However, after the beans and lentils are fully cooked, adding salt to season is a good idea. Often bean or lentil soups are better the next day and won’t taste as ‘fresh’ because, with time, the spices and seasonings will be absorbed by the beans & lentils.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2-3 tsp garam marsala
- 2-3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 cups green lentils, rinsed & drained
- 8-10 cups veggie stock or water +1 organic veggie bouillon cube
- 4 large handfuls of baby kale or baby spinach leaves
- 1-2 tsp sea salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- splash of red wine vinegar (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion & garlic. Sauté for 3-5 mins, or until onions begin to soften.
- Add carrots & spices; sauté for about 5 mins more.
- Rinse lentils and add to pot with water.
- Cover pot, bring to a boil, and simmer 35-40 mins.
- Add salt & pepper (and bouillon cube, if using), and simmer another 10 mins. Add spinach or kale toward the end of this 10 mins and stir the soup to incorporate the greens.
- Add a splash of red wine vinegar, if using. Season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
- And, Serve!