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Barbecue Vegetable and Lentil Stew

in Soups

barbecue veggie stew 3Not very pretty, eh?  I am going to be honest with you.  I had zero intentions of sharing this recipe with all of you after I attempted to take pictures of it.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  Soup and I are not friends.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I love making and eating soup.  It is quick and easy.  It is delicious.  It is warm and comforting.  But do you know what it is not (well, for me anyways)?  It is not photogenic.

barbecue veggie stew 4No matter how hard I tried to get a somewhat presentable picture of this soup, it was just not happening.  Despite how much I truly enjoyed eating this soup, I was (and still am) actually a bit embarrassed to share my oh-so ugly creation.  But then y’all had to go and tell me how delicious it sounded when I posted about it in my What I Ate Wednesday Post.  Several of you even went so far as to ask for the recipe.  And since I love you all and I aim to please, your wish is my command!

barbecue veggie stew 2Barbecue Vegetable and Lentil Stew
Serves 4

*Adapted from Chelsey’s recipe and inspired by Kelly’s mention/request for a barbecue soup!


water, for cooking
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1 russet potato, chopped
1 cup green lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 large head green cabbage, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
2 TB of your favorite barbecue seasoning (I used this)- you may need more or less depending on the brand you use
1/4 cup barbecue sauce + more for topping
black pepper, to taste
fine sea salt, to taste


1. Heat a thin layer of water over medium-high heat in a large dutch oven or soup pot.  Once hot, lower to medium and stir in garlic, onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened.  Add additional water, as necessary to prevent sticking.

2. Add lentils, vegetable broth, water, and cabbage to the pot.  Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil.

3. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low.  Stir in spices and barbecue sauce.

4. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked through but not mushy.

5. Dish the stew into bowls and top with additional barbecue sauce.

barbecue veggie stewThere you have it, kids.  An unattractive but delicious soup.  Now do not say I never do anything nice for you 😉

Any tips on how to photograph soup and make it look good- without having a fancy camera?

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies March 11, 2014, 6:35 am
    You should've known you couldn't mention a BBQ soup without having me cry and cry for the recipe! This sounds so perfect and amazing. Definitely going to make a batch for lunches next week!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 3:41 pm
      Haha, you are right! I should have known ;)
  • Ang @ Nutty for Life March 11, 2014, 11:31 am
    Not gonna lie, I thought this was oatmeal at first before I read the title. I think it was the bbq sauce drizzled over top. But for the record, it doesn't look bad or gross. Love that you added cabbage! Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted...St. Patty’s Day 2014: Green Recipe RoundupMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 3:43 pm
      Haha, too funny!! I don't really like hot oats, but maybe I would with bbq sauce? ;) And yes, cabbage is a must!!
  • Em @ Love A Latte March 11, 2014, 12:48 pm
    Soup sounds delicious! Looks hearty and happy, and great for this cold weather! Em @ Love A Latte recently posted...Pregnancy Journey - 18 Weeks (and lots of vegan yums!)My Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 4:48 pm
      It is so hearty and comforting. Soup is the best Winter time food!
  • Megan @ The Skinny-Life March 11, 2014, 1:53 pm
    Soup sounds good and I love lentils! Soup is a hard one to photograph. Couple tips that have worked for me are - natural light and allowing the soup to cool a bit so it's not so steamy.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 4:49 pm
      Thanks for the tips! I will definitely have to try those out. It always seems like no matter what I try I just never have much luck! :/
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine March 11, 2014, 4:45 pm
    So without reading the title, I thought this was oatmeal drizzled with jam! I think your photos are pretty, but maybe that's my love of BBQ talkin' ;) I love the idea of adding BBQ to soup so this is going on my list! Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted...#26 Treat Yourself TuesdayMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 4:49 pm
      Haha! You are the second person who commented saying that!! Too bad I don't like hot oatmeal :(
  • Rebecca March 11, 2014, 5:39 pm
    This sounds delish. BBQ sauce is so under used in the veggie world! BTW I feel your pain with trying to make dishes look as beautiful in pictures as they taste in my mouth with my pathetic camera phone. Sadly, sometimes Instagram can be a friend in this department. I'll have to try this recipe next time I have BBQ sauce in the fridge. :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 11, 2014, 6:07 pm
      Yes!! Instagram sure can be a lifesaver when it comes to that! And I so agree. BBQ sauce is way under used and underrated!
  • Amanda March 11, 2014, 6:42 pm
    This sounds yummy! I can't offer any photography advice, but I can commiserate with my own yucky soup photo, haha: http://thegiraffelife.blogspot.com/2013/04/wild-rice-and-vegetable-soup.html Looks aren't everything! ;) Amanda recently posted...Blue SkyMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 6:59 am
      Haha, thank you!! ;) And honestly, I don't even think your soup picture looks bad!
  • Nicole @ FruitnFitness March 11, 2014, 7:39 pm
    This sounds so good! Love BBQ sauce and lentils. I am horrible with food photos, I try but they almost always turn out bad. I think this would be good with parsnip instead of potato too. I'm don't like white potatoes usually. Nicole @ FruitnFitness recently posted...Cashew Spinach PestoMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 6:59 am
      Oooo, parsnips would definitely be good in this! Nice idea :)
  • Kathy @ Olives and Garlic March 11, 2014, 8:11 pm
    I think I'm going to really love this soup. It sounds hearty.
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 7:00 am
      It is SUPER hearty and so comforting! Let me know if you give it a try :)
  • Jessie March 11, 2014, 9:22 pm
    Confession- I couldn't even finish reading the post before I pinned the recipe. I'm so happy you posted this recipe, Hannah. Surprisingly I haven't started jumping up & down yet LOL Jessie recently posted...WIAW: Eat the RainbowMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 7:00 am
      Haha, you crack me up!! ;) I hope you enjoy it!
  • Alexis @ Hummusapien March 11, 2014, 11:14 pm
    BBQ in soup?! I think I love it! You know I'm game for anything with lentils :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 7:01 am
      I am one of those people who thinks that bbq is pretty much good in everything ;)
  • Marie @ Little Kitchie March 12, 2014, 4:27 am
    These flavors sound amazing!! I love lentil soup! Marie @ Little Kitchie recently posted...ruby red grapefruit cookiesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 7:01 am
      Thanks, Marie!! And you and me both! Lentils is soup are the best!
  • Katie @ running4cupcakes March 12, 2014, 1:19 pm
    I think if you add BBQ to pretty much anything it makes it better!! :)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl March 12, 2014, 4:41 pm
      Haha, my thoughts exactly! I'm glad you agree ;)

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