Lentil Soup with Roasted Root Vegetables and Goat Cheese

Ahh, the dreariness of the recent weather here at home is enough to put anyone to sleep. It’s so hard to feel motivated enough even to make dinner when it’s like that. It makes me just want to curl up on the couch and have someone bring me something good to eat. Luckily, I had some cooked lentils leftover from another dish we had made recently so I decided to make a soup.

I thought roasted root vegetables would go nicely with this, as more of a “garnish” than something you would cook into the soup itself. I planned in advance to use the roasted vegetables, but adding the goat cheese was a last minute decision. It gives it a nice tang to counter the earthy flavors. This is a really warm and comforting soup.

2 cups cooked green/french lentils
3 cups chicken/vegetable broth
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs thyme
salt
pepper
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large sweet potato, chopped into cubes
3 parsnips, chopped into cubes
1/2 butternut/acorn/kabocha squash, chopped into cubes
Goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425F.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium dutch oven (or heavy bottom pot) on medium/high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, and a pinch of salt and sautee until tender (5-7 minutes). Add garlic and sautee for another 2 minutes. Add lentils, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, cumin, coriander, 1/2 tsp salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir together and then add in broth. Once it comes to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes to let all of the flavors incorporate. Once the soup is done, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Then squeeze about 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice in. Add a little more if you feel that it needs more. The lemon juice really brings some life to the soup. Taste and add more salt/pepper if needed. (it depends on how much sodium is in your broth)

Meanwhile, toss the squash, sweet potato, and parsnips with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast in oven for about 20-30 minutes until golden and fully cooked. Toss the vegetables around halfway through the cooking process.

Ladel into bowls, place about 2 tablespoons of the roasted vegetables in the middle and top with a little bit of crumbled goat cheese.