Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lentil Soup

Pretty much everyone seems to like lentil soup, but I wonder if everyone knows how easy it is to make homemade. Like, I wish someone had told me this years ago, easy. Plus it’s made with ingredients you probably have on hand all the time, except maybe the lentils. But since those can last a long time in your pantry, you can keep those on hand too.

I don’t know about you, but I like recipes that I can throw together with odds and ends pulled from the deep recesses of my fridge and pantry – especially on chilly winter days when we’re pretty much out of groceries and don’t want to brave the cold to get more. I know I know, I shouldn’t complain about Nashville winters – I used to live in Cleveland. But let me tell you, warm weather spoils a girl! Until spring comes, I guess I’ll just have to make to do with a big bowl of steamy, homemade lentil soup.

Lentil Soup
Adapted from Alton Brown

2 T. olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 cup tomatoes, peeled and chopped (you can use fresh or drained, canned)
2 quarts (8 cups) chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Add lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin, and black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree soup to desired consistency. (I like to puree about half of the soup, so that there is still a chunky texture.)

Serve warm.

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