Dictionary.com says that a lentil is:
- A leguminous plant native to southwest Asia, having flat pods containing lens-shaped, edible seeds.
- The round, flattened seed of this plant.
Whenever I heard of anything with lentils in it, I thought, "Um...no thanks". The word "lentil" doesn't sound good. It sounds like something not edible to me...like some sort of utensil used in urgent situations. I imagine someone saying, "Go get me the lentil...quick!"
Anyway, I saw a Barefoot Contessa episode recently (Ina Garten's show on the Food Network) and she was making Lentil Vegetable Soup. She was oh-ing and ah-ing about how awesome it was. I figured that I would try it since lentils are supposed to be super nutritious and the ingredients are not expensive (so I wouldn't feel bad if I hated it).
My husband and I were in awe of how flavorful and awesome this soup was! The recipe yields a whole bunch and we've been eating it for days because we love it so much. I will be making large quantities of this soup and freezing it. Because I like to freeze things. Make this soup...it's delicious and not hard to make and good for you!
~I Love it!~
- 1 pound lentils (they are by the dried beans)
- 4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large onions)
- 4 cups chopped leeks, white part only (2 leeks)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried (I used dried)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 cups medium-diced celery (8 stalks)
- 3 cups medium-diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I forgot this and it still tasted awesome)
- In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
- In a large stockpot on medium heat (I used an enameled dutch oven), saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, until the lentils are cooked through.
- Check the seasonings. Add the red wine/vinegar and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.