Lentil Soup for Your Fall Adventure

By Jean Arthur

My family first enjoyed this crimson-colored organic lentil soup during a river trip. I made the soup using Montana organic, heirloom Petite Crimson Lentils from Timeless Seeds and late-season veggies, herbs and spices from my garden and a local farmers’ market. I froze the soup to keep the cooler chilled during our multi-day paddle. The cilantro remained fresh in loosely sealed wax paper. 


4 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 chopped onions

4-6 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 garlic scapes, sliced and halved into 4-inch long strips 

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes

1-2 fresh or dried whole peppers such as habanero  

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 quarts broth (chicken or vegetable)

3 cups water

2 cups rinsed organic Petite Crimson lentils

2 large carrots, diced

Juice from 1 lemon

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. In large pot, sauté onion, garlic and garlic scapes in oil for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in chopped tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add broth, water, whole dried pepper, and carrots. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups red lentils and simmer 30-40 minutes, partly covered.
  5. Use an immersion blender to partially puree lentils and ingredients.
  6. Add lemon juice. Remove from heat, cool, then freeze for the camp cooler. 
  7. Serve heated up and topped with fresh cilantro.

After a few days camping, my family experimented with additions to the soup, from jalapeños to salsa, chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, a squeeze of lime and even chopped ginger. While the recipe makes enough for eight large servings, no leftovers survived my four hungry boaters.

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