Tuesday, September 13, 2011

French Lentil Soup

It's getting colder outside, at least in our neck of the woods. Get ready for a lot of slow roasted dishes and soups on our blog. 

This recipe comes to you from our desire to cook with lentils and Bon Appetit. This is a rich, hearty soup that will definitely warm you up on a chilly day. Also, you can make this and freeze it for a later time. 

Here's what you need:
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion (we used one medium red onion and it was perfect)
1 cup celery
1 cup carrot
2 cloves garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cup lentils
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
Salt & pepper

Here's what you do:
Start off by dicing up your onion, celery, carrot and garlic.

You can toss all of these in the same bowl after you chop them up, they're all going in the pot together.

When you're getting close to finishing up your chopping, start the oil heating over medium-high heat. Once your oil is hot (it will start to ripple a little), throw your veggies into the pot and toss them around a bit to coat them with the oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Let that hang out for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While your vegetables are cooking, rinse your lentils and drain them.

You want your vegetables to soften and brown like this:

 Now, add in the 4 cups of vegetable broth,

your lentils,

and your tomatoes.

Stir that up and bring to a boil.

Once you have a nice rolling boil, drop the heat to medium-low, cover and walk away for 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils have softened.

When your soup is ready, it will look like this:

Now, you can definitely serve this up right now as is, or you can puree it. There are a couple of options on the puree - You can puree just a little bit and leave most of the soup intact, or you can puree the entire thing. We tried pureeing the entire thing, but next time we'll probably stop at pureeing just a couple of cups. 

Either way, here's how the puree should be done. Transfer 2 cups of the solids in your soup into a blender and blend until smooth. 

BE VERY CAREFUL! You'll want to keep your hand on the top of the blender. Hot liquids tend to be a little volatile in the blender. Just take our word for it.

Transfer that back into the pot and stir it up. If you want a completely pureed soup, continue this process until the entire soup is smooth. We used our immersion blender a bit at the end to be thorough.

We topped this with seasoned croutons, which were delicious. You could also add a splash of balsamic vinegar on top or a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream, or greek yogurt.


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