Vegan asparagus soup with red lentils features minimal ingredients with maximum flavor! Quick, easy and ready in 20 minutes it’s another great use of red lentils in a creamy style soup!
Prep veggies: Trim both ends off the leeks, we’ll be using the white and light green parts only. Make a slit down the center lengthwise and run under cool water to remove any debris/dirt that may have collected between the layers. Lay on a flat surface, thinly slice widthwise. Here is a great guide to prepping leeks. Trim asparagus ends and discard. Cut remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
Cook: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add in tarragon, lentils, asparagus, vegetable broth, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. Let cool a bit.
Puree: Using an immersion blender, puree soup until desired consistency (I left mine a little chunky). You can also puree using a blender or food processor (this method will most likely require you to puree in 2 batches). Once pureed, add back to the stove and add juice of 1 lemon, give a good stir. Add more water as needed to thin, no more than 1 cup should be needed. Taste for seasoning and heat on low as needed to warm.
Croutons: While the soup is cooking or cooling, cube two slices of your favorite bread (I used the end pieces). Place cubes on a small baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and toss well to coat. Toast in a toaster oven as if toasting bread (this was my method using the small tray that came with the toaster oven). Alternately, use the broiler in your oven and set it at medium, place the baking sheet under the broiler for 5 – 7 minutes, tossing once or twice, until bread is toasted and slightly golden. Simple and easy croutons!
Serve: Serve soup in individual bowls topped with croutons and fresh cracked pepper. For a little heat, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. For more herby flavor, stir in a small handful of fresh chopped parsley. For soaking up the juices, a slice of homemade Artisan Bread is perfect!
Feel free to change up the herbs. A few good replacements for the tarragon would be dill or thyme.