Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hearty Lentil Soup

Today I am making soup for a family in our community who is sitting shiva.  Our condolences to the family and friends of Nechama Gittel Chaya (Norma) Kuras.  I've always thought my lentil soup is very comforting, but this is the first time it will really be put to the test. 

In addition, this is the first time I am making it with dry lentils (not canned) and without store-bought broth.  If you want to use those time-savers. see Easy Lentil Soup.

Some other things I'm doing differentley include using my food processor to thinly slice the veggies, and cooking two kind of lentils separately.  Lets get started!
1. Chop 2 onions, 3-4 carrots, and 1 celery root/celeriac or parsnip (both optional), and 1 sweet potato/yam (also optional, but tasty) and start them cooking with oil in a pot.

2. Add a sprinkling of flour, celery, mushrooms, and tomatoes. to the pan.

3. When everything is softening and taking on color, add red lentils equal to about half to 2/3 the amount of the veggies and three times that amount of water. 

4. Add whatever herbs you have, such as: chopped rosemary, basil, thyme, lavender, chopped or powdered garlic, or other seasonings to taste (like curry).
5. In a separate pot, boil then simmer balck lentils in water.  You can use about the same amount of black and red lentils.  (I was going to add chopped scallions to this pot, but I forgot.
6. When the red lentils and vegetables are soft, blend with a hand blender.  Add water if necessary, plus salt and pepper to taste.
7. When black lentils are cooked add them back to the main creamy soup.  Leave the black lentils whole.  
I added ice cubes to the soup I wanted to store, then ate a couple bowls immediately.

I love how the tiny smooth black lentils feel in my mouth.  I also think it's a nice looking soup with the light colored soup and the dark lentils.  I forgot to add the scallions and I forgot to buy garlic.  If you try it with scallions let me know what happens.  I think I need to grow some lavendar, because I really like lentil soup with fresh lavendar.

This soup was much healthier and less fattening than previous generations of my "Easy Lentil Soup," and it didn't take much longer to make.  I'm so glad I've gotten over my reliance on expensive boxed broths for flavor!

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