Lately, I’ve been on a mission to stop eating fast food, for good. Yes, you read that right. I feel like fast food really eats away (pun intended) at my budget and there is so much more that I want to do with my money.
Fast food is also packed with salt and other preservatives that I just don’t want to consume anymore, let alone feed it to my family.
So, in an effort to be more mindful of what I feed my family and myself, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking.
And I even took it a step further.
I decided to follow Jordan Page’s famous “Shelf-tember” where she encourages her community to cook from their pantry, fridge and freezer in order to use what they have on hand.
Shelf cooking for me is not something new.
My mom literally used to whip up a meal in minutes with stuff she had on hand.
And while it took a while to master it, it became somewhat of a staple strategy to help me save a lot of money and use up what I had on hand so I’m not wasting food.
I wish I could say that this Red Lentil soup was a result of my “Shelf-tember” efforts. This soup has been around forever and I remember eating it as a kid. But, on this day, I wanted to use what I had on hand and this easy soup came to mind.
Red lentil soup is one of those soups that warms the soul. It’s velvety and creamy, but hearty enough to fill you up for hours. It’s packed with nutrients and tastes so good that it’s kid-approved.
This soup is great in so many ways. It’s super simple to make, with just five ingredients and only takes about 15-20 minutes to make and dinner is ready.
It reminds me of a crockpot meal, a dump-and-go type of soup, yet you can make it even on a busy weeknight.
It’s both rich in flavor and cheap in cost. The best of both worlds in my opinion. As The Frugal Convert, I’m always trying out new recipes that simplify cooking, especially on busy nights when I don’t feel like cooking, while saving money.
Here are the ingredients to the best red lentil soup you’ll ever make:
1 cup of small red lentils- rinsed
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
½ red onion, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups water
½ tsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Dump everything into a medium sized pot. Let it come to a boil on high heat. Turn down the heat to medium low and let simmer until the carrot softens.
Once everything in the pot is fork tender (about 10 minutes), pour the contents of the pot into the blender or us an immersion blender. Blend until completely smooth with no lumps.
You may need to add a little more water if consistency is too thick. It should be the consistency of potato soup or clam chowder.
Then, return to the pot and serve immediately.
You can serve it with toasted pita chips.
I made the pita chips by cutting them into small square pieces and toasting them in the oven with nothing on them.
The great thing about this soup is that you can store it for a few days in your fridge.
To reheat, simple heat in a pot or put in a microwave-safe container and reheat in microwave for 1-2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
As the soup cools, it will thicken. You can add more water to loosen it to the desired texture and thickness.
My family loves this soup. It’s a great way to warm up the bellies and feel good during the colder nights.
Red Lentil soup has so many qualities if you think about it.
It’s vegan, cheap, easy to make, and absolutely delicious.
If you try it out, please send me a picture! I love seeing all of your creations!