Saturday, September 27, 2008

French Lentil Soup

We've had another "fall" like day (but tomorrow should be 81). I made this soup up last night with the plan of eating left overs today and tomorrow. When I first had a bowl, it was OK, but after sitting overnight all of the flavors came out, and it was quiet good! I also made some frocacia bread, from my Cafe Paradiso cook book (thanks Rebecca!) to go along with.

I found the recipie on epicurious. Many of the reviews stated that the soup was bland, until they added lots of seasoning. That's my cue to play with the recipe as much as possible! Okay, well I really didn't change too much. I doubled the amount of onion to be cooked down, and added thyme, rosemary, oregano, a bay leaf and basil. Herbs de Provence would make a very nice substitute as well.

For our next day meal, we noticed that all of the liquid had been absorbed by the lentils, making this more of a mush. It still had a nice texture, and would go over rice or in a pita really well. We also thought that this tasted very much like a beef stew that my paternal Grandmother makes, adoringly called "Grandma's Stew". Her stew also contains parsnips, which I plan on putting in the next time I make this. Also, I think that cubed beef, venison, or bison would make a great addition for all of the omnivores out there.

All in all, we are pleased with this soup/stew/mush. Like the Pumpkin Pasta, it might not look that great, but it tastes wonderful and is very satisfying.


1 1/4 C. dry lentils
4 C. chicken broth
1 C. chopped carrots
2 C. chopped celery
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
15 oz can diced tomatoes, plain
4-5 gloves garlic, smashed
2 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

-Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat with garlic and seasonings
-Add chopped veggies, stir to coat. Cover and let cook until the onions are transparent, about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
-Add tomato, lentils and chicken broth, bring to a boil
-Cover and bring down to a simmer. Simmer until lentils are cooked, 35-45 minutes
-Remove bay leaf
-Blend part of the soup with a stick blender or a traditional blender/food processor. If using a traditional method, return blended soup to the stock pot and stir to combine.
-Serve warm, plain or over rice.