Put the lentils, onion, vegetables, garlic, stock, and paprika into a large pan. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Let the soup cool slightly, then puree in small batches in a food processor or blender. Process until the mixture is smooth.
Return the soup to the pan and heat through thoroughly. Season to taste with pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and swirl in a tablespoonful of mascarpone cheese, if desired. Sprinkle the chives over the soup to garnish and serve at once with crusty bread.
per serving- 176 calories, 1.6 g fat, .21g saturated fat, 10.6g protein, 31.7g carbohydrate, 4.92g fiber, 7.8g sugar, 0.72g salt
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