Dinner with Alanna

red lentil soup

Had dinner with my dear friend this evening. She made a completely healthy, low-fat meal and... listen up dieters and vegetarians... it was super tasty and filling!

My general issue with the aforementioned groups is that so many of them have this twisted view of/relationship with food, IMHO. Perhaps it's an overriding North American fear-of-seasonings thing. Yes, this is a generalization, I know. (Jill Murray, for instance, makes very yummy looking, and by all reports yummy tasting, vegan items.) However, it seems depressingly prevalent.

There are plenty of folks out there too who simply view food as fuel, and don't see that it should nourish the soul, the heart, as well as the body. I feel sorry for these people. Food doesn't have to be stripped of feeling and flavour to be healthy. It still bears repeating.

OK, rant over. On to tonight's dinner. Miss Alanna whipped up a red lentil soup that was perfect for a cold winter's eve. Thick and hearty, it was well balanced with a salad with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, red and yellow peppers, and red onion, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

She's adapted the recipe from a couple of different sources and the results are delish. Here's the recipe.

Alanna's Red Lentil Soup


  • 1/2 c. (4 oz.) red onion, rough dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 c. water
  • about 3/4 c. (7 oz.) split red lentils
  • 2 tsp. vegetable soup base (i.e. Vegeta)
  • 2 heaping tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 heaping tsp. ground coriander (optional)
  • diced and/or crushed tomatoes to taste (optional)
  • chopped cilantro to garnish
  • salt & pepper to taste


Sweat onions for 2-3 minutes, just until soft. Add garlic and cook for about another 2 minutes. Add water, soup base, lentils, cumin and any other optional ingredients as desired.

Cook uncovered on medium for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Note, using tomatoes can extend cooking time. In this case, covering the pot helps.

When lentils are very tender, remove soup from heat and transfer to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, adding water as necessary to attain desired consistency.

If necessary, you can return the pureed mixture to the pot to reheat. Use cilantro as a garnish.

Serves 4

Just goes to show that food that's good for you can also just be good.

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