My vegan Scottish traditional lentil soup is a family favourite bursting with nutrition and deliciousness.
Growing up in Scotland lentil soup was a staple family dinner and I learned how to make lentil soup quite early on. My recipe for lentil soup is pretty much the same as my family recipe with perhaps the substitution for vegan stock cubes being the main difference.
Back then I was vegetarian as plant-based was not even a thing I could consider as I had not even come across the term!
Lentil soup is perfect for batch prepping and food budgeting. Lentils are relatively inexpensive and a small packet equals a large amount of yummy potential soup!
If you have kids this lentil soup recipe is ideal for them to prepare with supervision.
My kids have successfully cooked batches of this soup and its a good recipe to have up-your-sleeve when you go off to college and need quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive meal ideas.
Origins of lentil soup
Interestingly lentils are the oldest, farmed pulse ever and have been cultivated for thousands of years.
Lentils dating back 9,500-13,000 years were discovered within Franchthi cave in Greece.
There is even mention of bowls of red lentil soup in the Bible.
There are so many different types of lentils and recipes to discover. If you have little experience with cooking with lentils then vegan lentil soup, prepared with red split lentils, is an ideal introduction as its just a case of bunging everything into the soup pan and simmering for 25-30 minutes.
And its ready to serve.
How To Prepare Lentil Soup:
- Large Saucepan/stock pot/soup pan
- Potato masher, for giving the soup a little mash at the end of cooking. Alternatively just leave chunky or if preferred use a hand blender for a smoother consistency.
- 350 g carrots about 3 large skins left on if unblemished, diced.
- 115 g celery about 2-3 stalks, diced.
- 360 g swede about 1/2 medium swede, diced. (Swedes are often called rutabagas and turnips)
- 480 g potato about 3 medium, peel off blemishes but otherwise leave skins on if liked, diced.
- 160 g onion 1 large, rough diced.
- 4-6 cloves garlic Diced small or minced.
- 300 grams red split lentils washed under running water and picked through for debris, easier to do this when using a sieve.
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 litres water Use 2-3 veggie stock cubes. Add 2 stock cubes initially to your pan, and if required add another about 5 minutes before cooking ends.
- Add all ingredients to your saucepan including the stock cubes.Pour in the water.
- Bring to the boil. Lower heat to low-medium and simmer for around 25-30 minutes.
- Check seasoning, Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leafs.
- Using a potato masher give the soup a mash to break up the veggies. Mash to your preferred texture. Alternatively omit the mashing and just enjoy as is.
- Lentil soup will keep fresh in the fridge, in a covered container for up to 3 days.
- Or freeze for 4-6 months. Place in an airtight container and leave a little room for expansion as the soup freezes.
- Reheat your lentil soup by gentling bringing to the boil in a saucepan and simmering for a few minutes. Add extra veggie stock or water if necessary to avoid sticking as the lentils can become very thick as they sit in the fridge.
- As a garnish try a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, grated vegan cheese, cracked black pepper, chilli or red pepper flakes, a few drops of hot sauce, or some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or lemon balm.
- Some freshly squeezed lemon juice gives a nice zesty flavour pop.
- Toast some pumpkin or sunflower seeds in a dry fry pan over a medium heat, until aromatic and golden. Scatter over your soup.
- Lentil soup tastes even better the next day.
- An idea is to save any water that you have previously used for boiling potatoes or vegetables. Drain, cool and store the cooking liquid in the fridge, covered, for up to 3-4 days. Use the liquid to prepare your veggie stock for soup. This saves water but also adds more flavour to your soup, and hopefully any vitamins and minerals that leaked out while your vegetables were boiling will be saved for your soup.