I love lentils in all their earthy humility. They're unfancy little things, uncomplicated and straightforward. They pair beautifully with rich, robust flavors that complicate their relative simplicity.
In this cold-weather recipe that reads more like a stew than a soup, lentils pair beautifully with mushrooms, plenty of garlic, bright tomatoes, leftover turkey (or chicken) and a spoonful of smoked paprika.
Lentils are also packed with nutrition, particularly the B vitamins thiamin and folate as well as minerals like phosphorus and iron. In a letter to his nieces and nephews (an appendix in this book: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration), the nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price described lentil soup as one of the most valuable foods to include in the diet owing both to its relative nutrient density and its affordability.