Fall is around the corner and my culinary thoughts go to soups.
If you’re in a pinch for time, then go ahead and make a standard lentil soup with brown lentils – it’ll cut your time by more than half. If you’ve got a bit of time to have a fragrant pot simmering on your stove top, this is a rich, intensely flavored soup that will warm your entire family.
Known as lentils du Puy, French lentils hold their shape well even though they are much smaller than their cousins, making them perfect for hearty soups and salads. Plus, they are a bit earthier and somehow richer to my taste.
The original recipe is from Ina Garten and I’ve changed it only slightly, especially for sake of night-shade compliancy. I’ve also cut her recipe in half, however, a full recipe will yield lots of soup to freeze – you’ll thank yourself later! And don’t forget to soak the lentils before you start chopping your veggies – it’ll save you a good 15 minutes.
Enjoy this chunky soup with a vinegary salad and a frothy glass of sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon. Perfection.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Special equipment: large stock pot
1 c. french lentils
4 c. chopped yellow onions
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 c. medium diced celery (about 4 stalks)
1 1/2 c. medium diced carrots (3-4 carrots)
1-2 cloves minced garlic (about 1/2 a tablespoon)
6 c. chicken stock (more if you want a less chunky soup)
1/2 – 1 T red wine vinegar to taste
- In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat and add onions, salt, paper, thyme and cumin. Sauté for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add celery and carrots and sauté for 10 more minutes.
- Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add chicken stock and lentils; cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and simmer, uncovered for at least an hour. Check for firmness and simmer a bit longer if needed.
- Add vinegar to taste, stir and serve.
My favorite garnishes are pickled jalapeños and fresh cilantro to taste.