Tomato Soup and grilled cheese. It’s a marriage made in heaven and it is truly a heavenly combination. Today is one of those chilly, rainy days that’s perfect for soup…and maybe a sandwich. It’s comfort food, but of course, there’s a twist. There’s always a twist with The Goddess. The Spicy Honey prefers canned tomato soup. The Goddess prefers homemade tomato soup…as you know, we’re a mixed marriage. What can I say? He likes the sweetness that is the nature of the canned version, so I add some sweetness by adding some apple bits, as well as a touch of apple cider. A drizzle of honey is nice, too. I garnished each bowl with some Queso Rallado, which is a Latino cheese, that’s a dry-ish, grated cheese. But, you can use a cheese like feta, Romano, Parmesan, or Asiago. We love those crispy, fried onions or Onion Crunch®. Not the supermarket version, but the version that’s available from The Spice Mill. Get the large container, because you’re going to be tossing these into everything. But, I digress. Back to the soup.
This tomato soup is a chunky soup; a meal-type soup. I used lentils, but you can use canned beans, like black beans, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, etc. I like to use dried lentils, rather than canned. They cook rather quickly, at about the same rate as the veggies, but still hold their shape without becoming too mushy. I’ve giving you amounts, but feel free to alter the amounts to suit your taste.
I sautéed the veggies, with the curry powder and some finely chopped lemon or orange zest. Add the carrots, lentils, broth and apple cider to the pot and simmer for a short while. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato “sauce” or strained tomato, along with the diced apple. Simmer until the lentils are just tender, taste everything and season it up. I prefer to make this several hours before serving and then reheat it. Sprinkle each bowl with some of the shredded cheese and some of the Onion Crunch®.
Tomato Soup with Lentils, Carrots & Apple
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 celery rib, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon curry powder, divided
- Julienned zest from half a lemon or orange
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 6 ounces dried lentils
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 cups strained tomatoes
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated dry cheese
- Onion Crunch® (or finely chopped scallions)
In a large pot, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Heat over medium low heat, add the onions, celery, bay leaf, lemon zest and half the curry powder. Stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add the carrots, lentil and broth; return to the simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are not quite fully cooked. Add the tomatoes, strained tomatoes, apple cider, remaining curry powder, garlic granules and smoked sweet paprika. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Taste and correct the seasoning. You will probably need to add some salt.
Ladle into bowls. Top with some of the shredded cheese and crispy onions; serve immediately with good toast, grilled cheese or crackers.
NOTE: Taste and add honey, if you prefer this to be sweeter. Do add the lemon juice regardless, as it adds to the complexity of the overall flavor. This will not have a pronounced curry flavor; add more if you want more pungent curry flavor.
Tomato Soup with Lentils, Carrots & Apple Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2016. All rights reserved.
We both thoroughly enjoyed this for dinner. It took the chill away and was terrific with grilled cheese and crackers. This would be a great soup for Halloween and trick-or-treaters.