For a vegetarian recipe made almost entirely from pantry staples (and I mean true staples, not staples from some well-stocked dream kitchen), this soup is surprisingly delicious. It’s thickened by pureeing a portion of the soup and then stirring it back into the pot. The soup takes just 30 minutes to come together, start to finish, yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen, and it’s good for you, too. The soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost it overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

It’s important to use red lentils, as opposed to another variety, as they cook quickly and thicken the soup nicely. The recipe only calls for ⅓ cup; don’t be tempted to add more or the soup will turn to sludge. For the cooked vegetables, feel free to use any quick-cooking, frozen, or leftover vegetables you have on hand. The recipe is extremely flexible and very hearty!

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