Friday, February 26, 2010

Lentil Vegetable Soup

When I first read the recipe for this soup, I thought the spice combination of cumin and thyme sounded a bit weird. I frequently cook with both of those, but never together! But, I thought it looked like it was worth trying and it was. My two-year-old Peter asked for seconds and the next day he requested that "soup with carrots" for lunch. The original recipe called for leeks (in addition to the onions) and intended to use them... but forgot to buy them. And I've never purchased leeks before so I'm not sure how much that lowered the cost of making this, but we never missed them so I'll probably continue skipping them in the future.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

4 c. onions, chopped
4 tsp. garlic, minced (about 4 cloves)
1/4 olive oil
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves or 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
3 c. celery, medium-diced
3 c. carrots, medium-diced
1 lb. dry lentils
12 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 c. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or red wine
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Saute onions and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin in a large stockpot over medium heat for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the carrots and celery. Saute for an additional 10 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the lentils in boiling water for 15 minutes; drain.

Add the lentil, broth, and tomato paste to the vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for about 1 hour, or until lentils are tender. Stir in the vinegar/wine and serve topped with freshly grated cheese. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

Recipe adapted from The Barefoot Contessa.

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