Vegetarian Winter Soup

I’m not a vegetarian again, however I am sometimes too cheap to buy meat. This soup is lovely to make when I want cheap ingredients and a sustaining meal. Plus, it makes a large volume so I can freeze some and enjoy it throughout the winter.

So much left over when you are only cooking for one person!

I got the idea for this recipe from a book I bought when I was a vegetarian, Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin. In the book there is a rice and lentil soup recipe, which is the basis of this one, and I just jazzed it up a bit. I realize that if a recipe already has lentils in it then there is really no need for black beans too, but I thought it would add more texture and depth to the soup. I also happened to have a bunch of carrots lying around so I figured I might as well add those too. The original recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, but I only had crushed and so that’s what the recipe says. If you’d rather use diced, go right ahead. I’m sure it will still be delicious.

Since I was making this with the plan of freezing most of it, I opted to not add the rice to the entire mixture. Sometimes the rice will absorb all of the liquid and when you go to heat some up it won’t be soupy anymore. I plan on just adding some rice to it as I reheat it.

Just add a little rice when you reheat it and it will be perfect :)

An issue I had with the original recipe is that it says to simmer the lentils for an hour and a half. I guess that would depend on the kind of lentils you’re using. Since I use the Goya brand, they only really need to simmer about 20 minutes on their own. I would check what the instructions say on the packaging of whichever brand you buy before you follow this recipe.

Remember not to go crazy with salt while you’re cooking. Adding the cheese at the end will give it that extra salty and savory kick that it might seem like it’s lacking while it cooks.

Printer Version


2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
3 quarts water
1 tsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup uncooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Romano or Parmesan cheese to taste

Place the sorted and rinsed lentils in a pan, cover with 3 quarts cold water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender ~20 minutes.

There’s no need for a picture of this, but you get one anyway

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sweat the onions and carrots until soft, and add the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant. Add the beans and tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes.

You see what I did here?

Add the lentils and their cooking liquid, and simmer about 30 minutes. Add the rice and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Serve, and top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

I only added a little cheese for the pictures. Rest assured that I added more after these shots were taken