Lately it seems like everyone I know has been getting sick. I haven’t caught anything yet, which probably means I’m next in line. But you know what tastes great when you’re sick? Soup and crackers, of course. Chicken soup is the old standby, but since I don’t eat meat I have to find alternatives. Recently my parents served me this hearty lentil soup for lunch, and I immediately requested the recipe. Turns out it’s super healthy, with tons of vegetables and lots of lemon juice, which surely provides a good dose of vitamin C. Hopefully enough to ward off whatever it is everyone seems to be catching these days. Thanks, Mom!
While the soup is a family recipe, the crackers are purely an internet heirloom. I found them here, and despite the name I was kind of shocked when I took my first bite and realized how much they taste like Wheat Thins. I’ve made various kinds of crackers before, but these were so easy and delicious that I may never buy another box.
Red Lentil Soup
16 oz. split red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth (I used the low-sodium kind) or bouillon
6 cups water
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1.5 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 Tbsp dried parsley
1/3 to 1/2 cup lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
pepper to taste
Rinse and drain lentils. Combine the dry lentils, vegetable broth, and water in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetables. In a large non-stick skillet, saute garlic, celery, carrots, and onion in olive oil on medium-high heat until tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the vegetables to the lentils and simmer several minutes more, until the vegetables are at the desired consistency. Add the cumin, garlic salt, cayenne, dried parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Homemade Wheat Thins
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) 100% whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for sprinkling on
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons Earth Balance shortening or butter
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water (or a tiny bit more if dough is too dry)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, paprika, salt).
3. With a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the shortening or butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Now mix together the water and vanilla and then pour into the flour and shortening mixture. Stir this mixture until it comes together. Squeeze the dough with your hands to help it come together. If it appears dry add a touch of water, but you don’t want it sticky.
4. Split the dough in half. On a floured surface or on a non-stick mat, roll out one half of the dough very thin (1/16th inch). Using a pizza cutter, or cookie cutters, cut into whatever shape you desire. Place the crackers on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with more salt and sesame seeds if desired.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Half way through baking rotate the pan to ensure even baking. Be careful because they burn quickly. Cool completely. Makes about 64 crackers for this full recipe. Store in an air-tight container.