One of the advantages of using red lentils in soup is that they cook amazingly fast. This soup has a deep, smoky flavor, as if it’s been simmered for hours, but it comes together in about 30 minutes.
MAKES 6-8 SERVINGS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 cups dried red lentils
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1.5 cups water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
Stir in the sweet potato, paprika, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper, then stir in the lentils, broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender and the lentils seem to have melted into the soup.
Stir in the lemon juice and chard. Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the chard has wilted completely. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Serve piping hot.