This simple French lentil tomato soup recipe is perfect for a quick and light dinner. If you serve it over rice you'll have a complete protein for a vegetarian meal. Or top it with shredded cheese for extra substance.
The Versatile Lentil
I make this with French green lentils which hold up well in the pot, but still cook quickly like other lentils. However, please don't hesitate to play around with your lentil soup - it'd be really hard to mess up. Here's some ideas for variations:
Lentils: Try yellow, red, or brown. There are even tiny black Beluga lentils for you to try.
Flavorings: To keep this lentil tomato soup French, I went light on the garlic and spices in this recipe. Pick up the pace with cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, or ras el hanout.
Vegetables: Eggplant (which you should saute or roast separately before adding), mushrooms (add with the carrots and onions), or spinach (add towards the end of cooking), all go nicely with lentils. If you want even more tomato flavor, stir in some concentrated tomato puree towards the end of cooking time.
Toppings: chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, or tarragon), grated gouda cheese, yogurt or crème fraîche.