Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lentil Soup

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would find a bowl of lentil soup to be one of the most appetizing things to me, I would have thought you were crazy!  But I guess I'm growing up, because I love lentil soup!  A friend of mine took me to a Lebanese restaurant last year and we had a lentil soup that was to die for.  I could not get it out of my head and have been on a search for a delicious lentil soup ever since.  This one is not exactly like that one, but it is fantastic.  We had this for dinner last night along with some nice crusty bread and it was heavenly!  I know most of you probably aren't making soups this time of year, but save it for when the weather cools down again and you won't be disappointed.  It's chock full of vegetables too, so you don't have to feel guilty about taking seconds!

*You can use all vegetable or all chicken broth, this was just the combo I did, and I thought it was great.

Lentil Soup

1 lb. green lentils, rinsed
4 c. vegetable broth*
3 c. chicken broth*
1 bay leaf
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small russet potato, chopped
8 oz. spinach, chopped
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 T. chopped fresh parsley (or 1/2 T. dried)
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, chicken broth, lentils and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook, partially covered, for somewhere between 20 and 45 minutes, until the lentils are just tender (check often, depending on the brand mine have been done anywhere in that range).

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the oil.  Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, not browned.

When lentils are tender, add the vegetables, potato, spinach, diced tomatoes, and parsley.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often, until potatoes are cooked.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Optional:  Take out 2-3 cups of the soup and put in a blender or food processor (or you could even use an immersion blender, I'm sure).  Process until creamy and add back into the soup.  Totally optional, but it thickens the soup up a bit and I like that.

Source: Adapted from Sisters Cafe

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