Apologies for being absent for a couple of weeks. My sister graduated from American University last weekend, so I was traveling and before that I was trying to wrap up some work projects and turn in my last assignment for my Spring semester. This meal is something that I’ll cook when I don’t want to think too hard about what I’m doing, so I have countless variations.

I like to make this soup on nights that I want warm and comforting food, but I want to crank up the fiber and protein content. This time I made grilled cheese with some left over challah and Havarti, so the sandwiches were rich and creamy.

Tomato & Red Lentil Soup

1 large can tomatoes (28 ounces)
1/2 cup red lentils
1 garlic clove
red chili flakes
1 tsp chicken base*
salt and pepper

Place the lentils, garlic, and chili flakes in a pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer at medium hot and cook for 30 minutes.

While the lentils cook pour the tomatoes and juice into a blender along with about 1 cup of water and puree until smooth. If you like a smooth soup (I do) force the tomato puree through a fine sieve. If you’re patient (this takes about 10 minutes) and persistent with a spoon you will be able to force all, but 1/4-1/3 of a cup of the tomato pulp through the sieve. Pour the resulting tomato sauce into a pan and bring to a simmer.

Once the lentils are done let them cool slightly and then puree in the blender until smooth and add to the tomato mixture and add the chicken base. Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste for salt and add more if needed and then add about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches.

*This can easily be made vegetarian, just leave out the chicken base and increase the salt.