Sunday, March 4, 2012

Luscious Lentil Soup

Lentil soup, how I love thee. You are such a fabulous empty-pantry meal, for even when there is little else to eat in the house, we almost always have some dried lentils, potatoes and carrots on hand.

Here's how to turn these humble ingredients into a hearty meal.

Luscious Lentil Soup
Serves 6-8

2 TB olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup port or red wine (or water)
2 cups French lentils (red lentils would also work)
2 bay leaves and 1 tsp whole black peppercorns, tied in a cheesecloth sachet
1 tsp each thyme, rosemary, and sage
1 bouillon cube or 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
Salt to taste
1 tsp cider vinegar or 1 TB fresh lemon juice

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots and mushrooms and saute a few minutes more.

Deglaze the pan with wine or water and heat a few minutes until the alcohol begins to cook off. Add lentils and cook a few minutes more before adding water and/or vegetable broth to cover by about 2 inches. Add sachet and herbs.

Bring to a boil, then add bouillon cube (if using) and lower heat. Let simmer for 45 min-1 hour, until lentils are cooked, adding more water if needed. Remove sachet and add salt to taste, then stir in vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

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