Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is perfect for a blustery winter day! It's frugal and healthy!

Unfortunately, I can't remember or find the blog I got this recipe from. It's been probably 5 years now. I've adapted it some over the years. We enjoy it and eat it regularly during soup season!

This is the only lentil recipe I make that I don't feel like I need to add meat to mask the lentil flavor. Of course, meat can be added and I do add meat to this soup from time to time. But even on it's own, it is just really really good!

This recipe does have a few steps to go through although this is a quick soup to put together. You may be tempted to ignore some of the steps and just throw everything in the pot to cook together. Don't do it! The extra steps really add flavor and depth to the soup.  Trust me--I've tried it the other way. :-)

Adding freshly grated Parmesan cheese to a hot bowl of this lentil soup takes it to the next level.

Lentil Soup
Serves 4-6

1 1/4 cups brown lentils
2/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves or dried minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped carrots
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 small can (6 ounce) tomato paste
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon pepper
4 cups hot water or chicken broth

Salt to taste--I use approx. 1 teaspoon.
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh chives for garnish, optional

Rinse the lentils, drain and put in a  large pot. Cover with cold water. Boil for 5 minutes. Strain, discarding liquid. Set lentils aside.

Wipe pot clean. Heat olive oil on medium-medium high heat, add onion and saute until translucent--about 7-10 minutes. Stir in garlic and as soon as it becomes aromatic, return lentils to the pot.

Add carrots, tomatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and pepper. No salt yet. Stir in the hot water.

Bring to a boil; lower heat. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes until lentils are soft. Add salt and stir.

Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

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