By Erin Walgamuth:
Winter is almost here, yippee! I love the chilly days and cold nights. This weather is perfect for a warm, comforting bowl of soup. I love soup and, fortunately, so does my family.
I am a big fan of lentils; not only are they cheap to buy, but they are also a great source of protein and fiber! You will always find a bag or two of lentils in my pantry. My favorite way to use these little gems is in soup. The following recipe is delicious and easy to make. It is also good with some additions; chicken sausage, mini turkey balls or chunks of your favorite ham. We like to sprinkle a bit of parmesan cheese over the top of our soup.
Easy Lentil and Carrot Soup
You will need
3 qt soup pot
Prep time about 15 minutes
Cook time about 46 minutes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves finely minced or use a garlic press
½ medium brown onion finely chopped, which will yield about ½ cup
2-3 pinches of sea salt or to taste
4 medium carrots, peeled, ends removed, cut into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 small bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dried lentils
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Put olive oil in soup pot and turn heat to between low and medium-low. When oil is warm, add the garlic and onions and stir to incorporate. Add 2 pinches of salt and stir to incorporate. Cook onion mixture for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add carrots and 1 pinch of salt, or to taste. Stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and bay leaf. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Boil carrots for 5 minutes. Add lentils to broth. Turn heat down to medium-low and gently simmer soup for about 40 minutes or until carrots and lentils are tender. Soup will thicken as it cooks. Remove bay leaf and serve.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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