I’ve been SO in the mood for warm winter soups lately. I’ve made lentil soup maybe four or five times in the past, but it’s never come out right! But — I thought I’d try again, because, well, ya’ never know . . . this time just might be the time it turned out well 🙂
Here’s the new one I tried recently:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion; finely chopped
- 5 to 6 long carrots; peeled and chopped
- 3 celery stalks; finely chopped
- 1 bunch leafy greens from the tops of the celery stalks; keep whole
- 2 or 3 russet potatos; peeled and finely chopped
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 16oz / 1 pound red lentils (make sure to pre-WASH them!!)
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth (or 4 cups broth + 4 cups water)
- 4 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. dried parsley; divided
- kosher salt - to taste
- freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- parmesan cheese - freshly grated over each bowl
- FIRST: take out everything you'll need and lay it on your counter or workspace to make it easy for yourself . . . as well as a measuring cup for the chicken broth and I like to use my microplane grater for the parmesan cheese. If we're going to be fancy (which this soup isn't but it's still fun to know this stuff) -- in France they call this step "mise-en-place." 🙂
- Heat your pan on medium heat (low/med, not med/high) and add some extra virgin olive oil to it.
- Peel and chop a few of your veggies so that they are ready when you are (in this order): the onion, then the carrots, then the celery, then the russet potatos. SO -- here we go . . .
- Finely chop the onions.
- When the pan looks like it's ready -- add the onions. (Hopefully this coincides with when you've just finished chopping them.)
- Let the onions sweat it out in there before adding the carrots.
- Continue on with peeling and cutting the long carrots. If the onions look sufficiently soft, delicious and yummy add the carrots. If the onions need a little more time, wait a bit -- but not too long. Carrots need a while to get soft.
- For the nice leafy greens at the top of the celery stalk -- make sure to chop those off first -- in one big bit and keep them whole. Set that aside because we'll be adding those to the soup in a bit (for flavor), but be removing them before serving.
- For the 3 celery stalks -- finely chop them and add them to the pot.
- Peel and finely chop the russet potatoes and add them to the pot.
- Add the following to the soup pot and saute until all the vegetables are tender (about 5 to 8 minutes): ½ tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp dried parsley, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Add the tomatoes with their juices.
- Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally (about 8 to 12 minutes).
- Add the lentils -- make sure to WASH them first though!!
- Mix in the lentils to coat.
- Add the chicken broth and stir.
- Add the following: 4 to 6 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, the nice leafy greens from the top of the celery stalk, 1 tsp dried parsley
- Give everything a nice stir.
- Bring the soup to a boil over high heat.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are tender, approx. 45 minutes - 1hr 30min, letting everything meld together and the lentils soften.
- Season to taste with kosher salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper .
- Get your soup ready to serve -- Remove the leafy green celery tops (or just be careful not to serve them to anyone).
- Ladle the soup into bowls.
- Sprinkle each bowl with the grated parmesan, drizzle with olive oil (if you like that). . .
Do you have a go-to lentil soup recipe? Did you try out my recipe? If so what did you think? Do you have any suggestions for me?
I’d love to hear from you! 🙂