- 1/ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets and stem roughly chopped
- 8 ounces dried green or red lentils
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, plus additional stock or water for desired texture
- 1/ 2 cup heavy cream or non-dairy milk
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- bread crumbs, microgreens, and additional extra virgin olive oil, for serving, optional
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onions and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to take on color and onions are translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in the smoked paprika and season onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes, until onions are well-coated and the paprika is very fragrant.
Add the celery and cauliflower, and continue to cook until all vegetables are softened and have just begun to brown, another 5-10 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium-low, Add the lentils and stock, cover pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have absorbed the stock and are tender, between 15 and 25 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend the hot soup in the pot until you reach your desired consistency; I prefer a mostly-smooth puree but you can leave bits unprocessed if you prefer. Stir in the cream and taste; add additional stock or water if you are seeking a thinner consistency. Add additional salt and fresh pepper, as desired.
Serve immediately with your choice of extra virgin olive oil, fresh bread, bread crumbs, or croutons, and/or microgreens. Can also be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for meal prep.