This Cauliflower Lentil Pasta Soup is high in plant-based protein, full of flavor, and packed with nutrients. Vegan and kid-friendly, with an oil-free option.
This veggie-loaded soup combines cauliflower rice, lentils, olives, and lots of fresh herbs for a nourishing and flavorful dinner. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised by how quickly my kids devoured this soup!
Why This Recipe for Cauliflower Lentil Pasta Soup Is Fabulous
- This soup is packed with veggies, yet it's so flavorful that you don't realize how many veggies you're eating!
- The recipe is very flexible. You can skip the pasta and add quinoa or rice instead. In addition, green or brown lentils can be substituted for the red lentils.
- Prep for this recipe is minimal. Store-bought frozen cauliflower rice works perfectly. There's no need to make your own unless you really want to.
- You can freeze this soup for up to two months.
- This is a kid-approved recipe. I tested it on three!
How to Make This Recipe
Cook the onion until translucent. Add the cauliflower rice and cook until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
Transfer the diced tomatoes to the saucepan.
Add the red lentils, maple syrup, and pomegranate molasses. If you do not have pomegranate molasses, substitute for balsamic vinegar.
Add fresh thyme and rosemary, reserved pasta water, and vegetable broth. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.
When the Red Lentils and Cauliflower Rice are Cooked:
Remove the rosemary sprigs. Mix in the olives, and salt to taste. Stir in the desired amount of cooked pasta.
Ingredients & Nutrition
Cauliflower rice makes it easy to increase your daily veggie intake. Loaded with fiber and water, it's both hydrating and filling. It's also versatile and requires no prep if you use the store-bought variety. I always keep some in my freezer just in case.
Cut the cauliflower into chunks, including the cores.
Place into a food processor.
Pulse until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice. Work in batches, if necessary, and be careful not to over-process or it will become mushy.
These little red gems are a convenient way to add protein to soup. They cook super fast, plus they give texture to the dish. They're also high in fiber which makes bowel movements regular, keeps blood sugars in check, and feeds our good gut bacteria.
Pomegranate molasses is the secret ingredient that gives this soup its unique flavor. It's made by reducing pomegranate juice down to a thick, intensely flavored syrup. It adds a tangy, wine-like quality, and meaty flavor to this dish.
I use it in salad dressings, as a glaze for tofu and tempeh, or drizzled on roasted veggies. Don't sweat it if you don't have any. It can be substituted for balsamic vinegar in this recipe.
Kalamata olives add a unique, salty Mediterranean flavor to this soup. They can be expensive, so feel free to substitute for other types of olives.
Olives are very nutritious. They're rich in antioxidants, one of these being hydroxytyrosol, which has been shown to decrease bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
Although they have several heath benefits, olives are high in sodium, and so should be eaten in moderation. I rinse mine in water before using to remove some of the salty brine.
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