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Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Croutons

This aromatic soup is brothy rather than thick. Dried lentils cook in about 20 minutes, just right for a homey simmered supper.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: Anna Williams

Source: Everyday Food, December 2007

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 bag (1 pound) brown lentils, picked over
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 4 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add carrots, lentils, broth, bay leaf, cayenne, and 3 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

  2. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes, tossing once halfway through. Serve soup topped with croutons.

Cook's Notes

The lentils should be cooked until they're just tender so they stay intact instead of falling apart in the soup. To save time, bake the croutons while the soup cooks.

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