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Gentle Lentils by Tess Masters

Thanks to: Tess Masters, The Blender Girl

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Powerhouse blogger and online phenomenon Tess Masters, AKA The Blender Girl, offers up more incredible vegan and gluten-free recipes that help you lead a vibrant healthy life in The Perfect Blend. Buy it on or today!


When my friend Denise goes lentil, I go mental. Add my Basil-Is-the-Bomb Sauce (page 49) to her protein-powered soup, and ka-pow! You’ve got a knockout. The sauce is essential and rockets this rustic vegetable and legume soup into the stratosphere. The lemon juice is key, brightening and lifting the flavours, and I never say no to a dollop of So Good! Sour Cream. Top with slices of avocado and greens for some raw nutrition.

So I can make this basil bombshell any time we’re in the mood for it, I always keep the ingredients on hand. It’s simple and really cleansing. (Add the wheatgrass and red pepper flakes for more detox dynamite.) I use it in so many different ways—drizzled over steamed or roasted vegetables, as a dipping sauce for grilled kebabs, slathered on sandwiches and wraps, or stirred into grains. Add the capers for an added layer of flavour. One to 2 teaspoons (or more) of this sauce brings a touch of magic to chunky vegetable soups, and it’s incredible as the star ingredient in the Gentle Lentils soup (page 59). Blending in one-quarter of an avocado makes an awesome green goddess dressing.

Photo Credit: Trent Lanz

Gentle Lentils with Basil is the Bomb Sauce
Gentle Lentils with Basil is the Bomb Sauce

(Serves: 8 as a starter, 6 as a main)

  • Gentle Lentils
  • 8 cups (2L) Massel Vegetable Liquid Stock
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 cup (150g) diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup (132g) diced celery
  • 1 cup (160g) peeled and diced carrot
  • 1 teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups (370g) dry green lentils
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup (240ml) Basil-Is-the-Bomb Sauce with the red pepper flakes booster
  • Optional Boosters
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • So Good! Sour Cream
  • 1 cup (40g) pea greens
  • Basil-Is-The-Bomb Sauce Makes 1 Cup (240ML)
  • ½ cup (120ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (50g) loosely packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup (20g) finely chopped green onion (white and green parts)
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • ¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon natural salt, plus more to taste
  • Optional Boosters
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 teaspoon wheatgrass powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste

Gentle Lentils

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and sauté the garlic, onion, celery, carrot, and ½ teaspoon of the salt for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables soften slightly.

Stir in the lentils, thyme, pepper, and broth. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring the mixture to a lively simmer (not a full boil), and cook for about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are tender but not mushy. Add salt to taste.

Ladle the soup into bowls and add about ¼ teaspoon lemon juice to each serving.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the Basil-Is-the-Bomb sauce over the top of each bowl and serve with a few of the avocado slices, a dollop of sour cream, and some of the pea sprouts.

Pass the remaining Basil-Is-the-Bomb sauce and more lemon juice at the table.


Basil-Is-The-Bomb Sauce

Makes 1 Cup (240ml)

Throw everything into your blender, including any boosters, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth and emulsified.

Tweak the salt and pepper flakes to taste. This is best served immediately, but will keep, sealed and chilled, for about 5 days.

Massel products used in this recipe:
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