Saturday, March 14, 2009

lentil soup

i've received a couple of requests for this soup (and i hear its a rainy day down in north carolina), so even though i'm hopeful that our cozy soup days will soon be behind us, i thought i'd post this recipe.

i developed this last winter when i couldn't find any lentil soup recipes that i liked:

2-3 slices bacon
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion - finely copped
1 clove garlic - diced
1 stalk celery - diced
1 medium carrot - peeled and diced
2 plum tomatoes - diced
1 teaspoon cumin
dash red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon red wine/worcestershire sauce
1 cup lentils - rinsed and picked through
3-3 1/2 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
1-1 1/2 cups water

in large soup pot, melt one tablespoon butter under medium-low heat.  chop bacon and add to pot.  cook bacon over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.  add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, cumin, red pepper flakes and bay leaves (add the other tablespoon of butter if you need to).  cook over medium heat until veggies are soft (approx 7-10 minutes).  salt and pepper to taste as the veggies cook.  add one tomato (reserve other) and one tablespoon red wine (or worcestershire sauce, or both!) to mixture.  mix in lentils and chicken stock.  stir well and cook until lentils are done - 20-30 minutes.  add water or chicken stock as the soup cooks depending upon how thick you want your soup.  

serve with a sprinkling of the raw diced tomato on top (chives are also a nice addition).   i also like to eat mine with a nice hunk of homemade whole wheat bread, but the lentils are filling enough that you certainly don't need that.

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