As I write this, it looks like it might as well be twilight outside and it's only early afternoon. Seattle gets so much rain this time of year, and with the sunset still setting before 5:00 it leaves some of us wondering if the sun is even really there. Now you'll have never met a bigger pluviophile than myself, but after about 3 weeks of straight up rain, it'd be nice to get one day of sun in there. Sneak in a quick visit to the outdoors and get some much needed vitamin D.
While waiting for said day, I find it's best to just cook up a storm! Go for anything that heats up the house and that just radiates warmth and coziness. Why? Well we all know once the sun comes out, long simmering meals and oven baking will go by the wayside! My contribution to warm and cozy this week: One pot creamy lentil soup with homemade whole grain croutons.
Can you guess what my favorite part of this one pot creamy lentil soup is? Hint: it’s in the title. Yup! One pot!! Throw all the ingredients in there and simmer away (excluding those croutons of course ????).
OH and my other favorite thing? It’s vegan!! Totally by accident to be honest but I thought that was pretty snazzy. I didn’t even notice till I was halfway through the bowl ????.
My mom used to make lentil soup for us when we were kids AKA the inspiration for this recipe. It was perfect for any winter day (even in Southern California!). But my favorite part was the croutons on top. It adds a fabulous crunch to an otherwise very soft, creamy soup.
Keeping with the spirit of January, I opted for whole grain croutons (if you prefer regular croutons, I got you covered). I tend to eat about half the tray before even serving this dish! Trust me, homemade in this case makes all the difference.
Ok so. One pot. Homemade croutons. A little coconut milk and a ton of veggies = One pot creamy lentil soup. Done and done. Recipe coming right up!Print
For the Soup
- 2 cups lentils
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups packed laciento kale, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon herbs de provence or Italian seasoning
- 5 cups vegetable broth/chicken broth (+ about 2 cups of water added during cooking)
- ¼ cup white wine
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk*
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the Croutons
- 1 lb whole grain artisan bread loaf (I used French bread)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make the croutons: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Slice the bread into ½ inch slices. Tear slices into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, salt ,and pepper over the bread cubes. Toss to combine. Pour croutons onto a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned, turning once halfway through baking to make sure croutons toast evenly. Set aside to cool.
- While the croutons are baking, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Cook for 5-7 minutes until veggies have softened and mushrooms have started to release juices.
- Add garlic and cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Pour white wine into the pan, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
- Add lentils, herbs, and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 35-45 minutes until lentils are tender, pouring in water as needed to make sure lentils are always just covered with liquid.
- Remove from heat and stir in kale, coconut milk, and lemon juice, stirring to combine. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Top with cooled croutons to serve.
If you don't like the taste of coconut milk, you can use regular milk of any fat level, even whipping cream if you're not worried about the calories! Feel free to experiment with unsweetened almond or soy milk as well. Just make sure to add some form of milk! Otherwise the lentils won't be nearly as creamy.