Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Chef's Last Minute Lentil Soup

Hey, it's been a crappy rainy last couple of days. Not  much snow to speak of yet, but just the bone-chilling wet cold that reminds me of winters living in England and made me yearn for my mother's amazing German lentil soup. The Chef is a self-proclaimed Soup Master, and I'll give credit where credit is due- he does make some pretty incredible pots of amazing. As I said, I'm a huge fan of lentils, and with lots of fresh vegetables in the fridge The Chef came up with a homey, hearty and meat-free lentil soup I think will be a new regular item around here. Using up some leftover mirepoix from another recipe a couple days ago, the last of the zucchini from the garden, home canned tomatoes and beef stock and of course, lentils, which we always seem to have on hand, this soup hit the spot. 

The Chef's Last Minute Lentil Soup
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 bag lentils
  • 1 quart beef stock
  • 4 cups chopped tomatoes
  • handful sun dried tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed oregano
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp crushed dried thyme
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large stockpot. Add the onion, celery and carrot. The Chef used some that was leftover from another meal so it was pretty good sized chunks- worked perfectly. Nice and substantial. 

Cook and stir about 8-10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Add the vegetables, beef stock (you can use chicken or vegetable stock if you prefer) and the seasonings.

Rinse and sort the lentils, add to pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 25 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender.

Look at all those chunky vegetables!
You can add any veggies you like to this recipe- and before serving you can add some baby spinach, chopped kale, big handful of fresh herbs such as parsley or basil. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese. It reminds me of a minestrone with the chunky veggies and tomatoey broth. 

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