Friday, January 13, 2012

Lentil Soup Recipe: Good and Good For You

It was insanely windy today; in fact, the wind is still whirring like crazy outside--making our screen door open and shut, open and shut repeatedly. This weather got me craving a warm bowl of soup, so what did I do? I made a whole pot. This recipe is easy to execute and delicious to eat. It's packed with vitamins, it's hearty, and it's low in fat. Perfect combo if you ask me.

(adapted from a recipe I found on Chow)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium celery stalk--small dice
1 medium carrot--small dice
1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 quart+1 cup low sodium vegetable stock (you can add more if you'd like at the end. lentil soup can thicken up pretty quickly)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes w/ juices
1 1/4 cup lentils (any color but red--red cooks in half the time and will become mushy in this recipe), rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (about 1 1/2 sprigs; remove from sprigs, of course)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (a little less if you want less acid in your soup; I like the brightness it adds)
2 handfuls of collard greens (or spinach)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until simmering--about 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook--stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened (about 8-10 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Season with several general generous pinches of salt and pepper. 

2. Add the broth, tomatoes w/ juices, lentils, bay leaf, and thyme and stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer (about 15 minutes). Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft (about 15-20 more minutes).

3. Taste and season with more salt or pepper, as needed. Stir in vinegar. Add the collard greens and stir until wilted. 


P.s. If you don't finish this off right away and store it in the fridge, you will notice that the lentils will absorb a lot of the liquid. I just add more broth or water the next day as I reheat. If you add water, be sure to taste it to see if you need to add some more seasoning.

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