Make this Simple Lentil Soup
Like the birds of our great state, when winter comes, all of my culinary creativity flies south and I get stuck in a soup rut. Soup is so soothing on such cold (ahem, polar vortex) days, and recipes are easily adjusted to what you have on hand and what suits your palate.
One year I was so stuck in my rut my husband actually put a kibosh on any more liquidy meals; apparently he wanted to bite into something. Well, we’re halfway through January and I’ve received no such request, so on I go with my soup-making madness.
Weekends are great for the more complicated variety, but on weeknights I opt for something far simpler. The “throw everything in and let it simmer for 40 minutes” kind usually catches my eye. And, I’m keen on recipes that call for ingredients I almost always have on hand. That’s why I love today’s concoction. It’s quick, easy, and full of flavor.
Lentils pack a punch when it comes to nutritional value. This super food is high in protein, folate, iron, and a variety of other essential nutrients and vitamins. But be warned. Lentils are also full of fiber. They’ll fill you up without filling you out, but they’ll also keep you using the bathrooms all over Minneapolis if you don’t plan it just right. You can’t say I didn’t tell you so.
Recipe source: Dinner was Delicious
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups green lentils
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 2 quarts (8 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole sprigs thyme
- Salt & pepper to taste
Throw the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and pulse several times until coarsely chopped. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, and add the chopped vegetables. Sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Give the mixture some salt*. Add the lentils, broth, and cumin and stir well. Give it a little more salt, and add the bay leaf and thyme. Turn the heat up to bring to a boil before lowering the heat and simmering for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf and thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
*Adding salt as you go, rather than all at the end, can make the difference between a dish that is full of flavor (it pulls out the flavors of the ingredients) and one that’s just salty. Add gradually, knowing you can always add more if needed.
What are some of your favorite winter soup recipes?