Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lentil Soup

Every Friday my co-teachers and I buy lunch (instead of being frugal and bringing something from home). With the weather getting colder, one of the only things I get excited about is having soup for lunch on Fridays. Devon and Blakely has a million soup options, but some how I always get vegetarian lentil. Despite the warm, sunny day, I felt inspired to make my own today. I began my search for a recipe by looking on Epicurious. It was overwhelming - so many recipes with so many different spices and ingredients. So I called my dad who didn’t have a recipe for me. Mom was my next call, a lentil soup recipe from Moosewood Restaurant. In the end, I used the reviews from Epicurious, the recipe from my mom, and came up with my very own lentil soup recipe. The experiment was deliciously successful.

Happy soup-ing!

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-6 cloves crushed/minced garlic
  • 3 cups (or one package) of lentils
  • 7-8 cups of vegetable broth/water
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Tomato paste (2-3 oz)
  • Cumin, salt & pepper
Directions:In a large soup pot, heat oil. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add lentils and broth. (I used about ½ vegetable broth and ½ water so as not to overwhelm the other ingredients). Add tomato paste. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, cumin, salt & pepper. Simmer, partially covered, for an additional 20-30 minutes

Regrettably, I did not measure the cumin, salt or pepper, so I’d recommend adding a little bit at a time and tasting with each addition. I also added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper because I love it. As you add the spices remember that they may seem more intense as the soup simmers and the flavors marry.

Many recipes called for celery and tomatoes – neither of which I like, but may be a nice addition assuming you are less picky than me. As I mentioned, various recipes called for various ingredients so if you prefer you could omit the cumin and red pepper and go with basil, thyme or oregano instead. Some recipes also call for some acidity – lemon juice or red wine vinegar. I went with flavors I like and the outcome was quite delicious. Follow your instinct and you too will have a yummy hearty soup!

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