I have 3 different types of lentils in my pantry and use them regularly. They cook in about 30 minutes and are very versatile. Sometimes though, I want to serve a meal that practically prepares itself. While I am not a big proponent of canned soups, there are a couple I will occasionally use. Campbell’s Lentil Soup is one of them. It’s seasoned well and makes a great base for soups and stews. Here is one of my go-to recipes when I want to do zero chopping and measuring.
Quick and Easy Turkey-Lentil Stew
1 lb. ground turkey breast
1 tbsp. Canola oil, I just eyeball it
2 small cans Campbell’s Lentil Soup
16 oz jar of roasted Salsa Verde
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1-2 cups water, as needed to get to desired consistency
1 Parmesan cheese rind – optional*
1/2 cup shredded cheese – optional – I used Asiago because it’s what I had, but Feta would be good too
salt and pepper, as desired
Brown ground turkey in Canola oil in large pot. Add all remaining ingredients except shredded cheese. Cook 20-30 minutes, although if you cook it longer it will thicken up nicely. Garnish stew with cheese if desired. Delicious and easy.
*I buy Parmesan cheese rinds from Kroger, in the deli section, and freeze until needed.
This is a great quick and easy soup. It’s made from mostly pantry/produce items that I keep on hand all the time. You can use a store-bought roasted chicken or any leftover chicken that you have.
Store-bought jalapeño peppers are usually mild but occasionally you will get a hot one. Just use half the pepper, or omit if you are adverse to the heat.
Chicken Fajita Soup
32 oz. chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
½-1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
16 oz salsa verde (I used the roasted variety)
28 oz can petite diced tomatoes, not drained
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1½-2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 package fajita seasoning mix
1 c. frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
Lime wedges, guacamole, sour cream, and chopped cilantro if desired
Combine chicken broth and next 7 ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add shredded chicken, fajita seasoning mix and corn and cook an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with lime wedges, guacamole, sour cream, and chopped cilantro if desired.
You can also crush tortilla chips and sprinkle over the soup.
Dinner cannot get much easier than this, and it freezes and reheats well.
Vegetable Beef Soup
2 lb ground chuck or ground round
1 large yellow onion, diced
28 oz can petite-diced tomatoes
14 oz can tomato puree
28 oz water
1 tsp. minced garlic
1-2 tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Beef Base*
½ tsp. dried oregano
1 ½ c. frozen baby lima beans
1 ½ c. frozen yellow corn
2 c. frozen cut okra
salt and pepper to taste
Cook ground beef and onions together until ground beef is browned and onions are very tender. Add, tomatoes, tomato puree, water, garlic, bouillon and oregano. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour. Then add lima beans and simmer 20 minutes. Add corn and okra and simmer an additional 20-30 minutes, until okra is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it seems too thick, add more water and adjust seasonings.
*Be careful with beef bouillon concentrate, it gives a great flavor but if you add too much, it will be too salty. I add a little at the time and taste before I add more. Always add this before adding salt.
I love bean soups. They are flavorful, economical and versatile. This easy slow-cooker version has a fresh taste, thanks to the last-minute addition of salsa.
Black Bean Soup
Yields 6 main course servings
1-medium onion, rough chopped
1-medium-size green bell pepper, rough chopped
12-ounce package baby carrots
1-large jalapeño, halved and seeded
16-ounce package dried black beans
6-cups vegetable broth or water
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1-Tablespoon ground cumin
1-cup fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
1/3 bundle of cilantro, chopped
Vegan sour cream, if desired
Place onion, bell pepper, carrots, jalapeño and garlic into a food processor and process until nearly smooth. Transfer vegetable mixture into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add beans, broth or water, crushed tomatoes and cumin. Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 3 hours.
Transfer half of the cooked beans to a food processor along with a little of the broth; process until smooth. Return purée to slow cooker and stir in salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve soup with lime wedges, cilantro, vegan sour cream and additional salsa as desired.
This soup is even better the next day, and freezes well.
Click here to learn my method for preserving leftover cilantro.
1 2/3 cup dried pinto beans
1 cup dried black beans
2/3 cup dried garbanzo beans
2 yellow onions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic
6-8 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp Tony’s Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 can hominy, drained or 1 cup frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse pinto, black and garbanzo beans well to remove any debris, then pour into a large pot of fresh water. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. After an hour, drain water, rinse beans again and return to pot with enough water or vegetable broth to cover. Add onions, garlic and spices and cook until beans are almost tender, about an hour. Add hominy and cook until beans are very tender, another 30 minutes to an hour. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Ladle soup over quinoa in bowls and garnish with cilantro. Serve lime wedges and tortilla chips on the side.