Now, I don't know about you, but I was a big lover of broccoli cheddar soup before I went vegan. And it wasn't until I tasted a Mong Dal (a soft soup made from split mung beans) for the first time that I had that same warm, soft, satisfying feeling while eating it.
So, I set about making up my own recipe for a lentil soup that includes the broccoli. I also switched the lentils to red lentils because they cook up with that same soft texture, but are cheap and easy to find in any grocery store. The traditional way to make Indian Mong Dal is to fry up the veggies and spices in oil (or ghee) and I wanted to skip the oil, too, so that's how this recipe was born and has become a welcome addition to my weekly batch cooking so I always have some on hand in my freezer.
I would even go as far as to say that your kids will love this brightly colored soup (helped by the turmeric) with or without the broccoli.
But, if Indian spice is not your thing, I have modified this soup to take on a beautiful Italian flavoring instead...just pick your pleasure from the spice choices below!
Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner
2 cups red lentils, rinsed well
9 cups water or veggie broth (or mixture of both)
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 inch nub ginger, diced
1 medium yam or white potato, diced
2 stalks celery and their greens, diced
1 tsp. salt (or less, to taste)
1/8 tsp. red pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup any type white rice, rinsed
Juice of one lemon added at the end of cooking
Optional Indian Flavor: ADD 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. ground coriander
Optional Italian Flavor: REMOVE the ginger. ADD one 14.5 can crushed tomatoes, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried basil
Optional on serving: 1/2 cup steamed broccoli per serving, fork tender (chopped small or in florets) added upon serving
Get it all in the pot
STEP 1: Add lentils and liquid to a large soup pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and set a timer to simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are soft and turn yellowish. Meanwhile, slice and dice all the veggies.
Hint: I use a slicer (pictured, left) to make quick work of onions and I use a shredder (pictured, right) to make quick work of dicing garlic and ginger. When I say quick, I mean 30 seconds!
STEP 2: After the 30 minutes, add all the diced veggies, rice and all the spices (and tomatoes, if using) to the pot and stir to combine and set the timer for 20 more minutes. Taste test for the veggies and rice to be tender and if not, stir and simmer 10 more minutes and test again. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli, if desired, in a separate small pot until just fork tender. Then cool under cold water (to retain color) and chop to desired size and keep separate until serving (do not add to soup pot).
Hint: These bendable chopping sheets I use make it easy to pick it up by the corners and slide the veggies into the pot all at once.
STEP 3 (OPTIONAL): Once the soup is cooked through, If you want a creamy consistency, as pictured above, use an immersion blender (I have the cheap Oster Immersion Blender set, which has worked great for years) to blend up the soup to your desired consistency. You can leave some lumps or have no lumps at all. Add lemon juice and stir. Taste to adjust salt and pepper. Stir again.
Hint: Kids won't know all the veggies in there if you blend it up smooth.
Step 4: Serve. Ladle up each bowl and add broccoli as desired and stir to combine (or not!). Enjoy!
Want to take back your health eating this way
but need help to get the health & weight loss results you really want?
Schedule a free Plant-Empowered Woman Activation Call with me to:
-CREATE a crystal clear vision for the healthy lifestyle you want free of the health conditions and limiting beliefs that are dragging you down
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-LEAVE this session with a plant-based plan...renewed, inspired and ready to reclaim your health quickly through a whole food plant-based vegan diet and lifestyle
With Love, Broccoli & Vegan Weight Loss Magic✨
Vegan Coach Naomi