Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lentil soup for the soul

Even more than chicken soup, I find that there is nothing that is so soothing as a hearty lentil soup. Maybe it is the humbleness of lentils that I find more satisfying to the soul. With very few ingredients, no meat to de-bone, and less cook time involved,, it is my go to soup for an evening that needs some clarity and comfort. Made only better with a simple crusty bread (still trying to find a good gluten free recipe), I give you, the soup.

Lentil soup for the soul

2 cups petite french green lentils (I like Bob's Red Mill)
3 shallots
3-4 garlic cloves
3-4 carrots
3 sticks of celery
olive oil
fresh thyme ( a few sprigs)
herbs de provence (optional) 1/2 teaspoon
curry powder ( 1/2 teaspoon)
vegetable or chicken stock 6 cups ( I prefer to make my own from Better than Bouillon which is also gluten free)
fresh cracked pepper ( a dash or two)
sea salt to taste (optional depending on use of bouillon)

In a large soup pot or dutch oven saute chopped shallots and garlic in a dash or two of olive oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add chopped carrots, celery, pepper, and thyme and saute another 5 minutes.
Add stock or water/bouillon (if using herbs de provence add now) to the pot, give a few minutes for the liquid to warm up.
Then add in lentils (make sure they are well rinsed first) and curry. Let cook down about 20 minutes over medium heat. It's okay if the soup boils mildly but if it begins to boil rapidly reduce the heat. Test taste and add a pinch of sea salt if necessary. Let cook another 10-15 minutes until lentils are tender. French lentils will not get mushy like other types of lentils so your just looking for tenderness.
Remove from heat once tender and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
A chunk of crusty bread served alongside is lovely for dipping and soaking up the ends of the bowl. If your a hot sauce type of person a couple dashes gives the soup a kick.

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