Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vegetable-Lentil Soup

We had tons of great food in Nashville.  But after taste-testing so many burgers at the Hard Rock on Saturday night, I really wanted nothing to do with beef when I returned home!

Downtown Kansas City has an amazing City Market where vendors and farmers set up on the weekend and sell lots of fresh, seasonal produce, local honey, fudge and other treats.  My blogger friend Ali did a couple of awesome posts about our local market.  Check them out here and here.

Since I took Monday off work to recover from our road trip, I met Paul downtown for lunch and stopped by the Indian Grocery (Al Habashi) to take a look around.  This store has tons of spices ($1 per scoop!), beans and grains, fresh pita bread and naan that make the store smell amazing.  The lentils called my name as soon as I spotted them.  I knew I could create a fresh, healthy and meatless dinner!

This soup isn’t very pretty but it was tasty.   It had lots of layers of flavors and different textures throughout.  I liked the pasta added in but it would be wonderful if you left it out too.  It was full of deep flavor and almost reminded me of minestrone.  I loved it and it was even better as leftovers!

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Vegetable-Lentil Soup Recipe

Yield: 12 (1-cup) servings

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, quartered and chopped
3 celery ribs, halved and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper, more or less to taste
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound dry brown lentils (I think it would work well with red lentils too, just be prepared to cook the lentils a little longer)
12 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2/3 cup orzo, Stelline or other small pasta
Shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, more or less to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute the onion for 5-6 minutes until it is fragrant and begins to soften. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and the bay leaves and cook for another 5-6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Pour in the wine and stir. Add the sage, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and the can of tomatoes with the juice and stir to combine. Continue to cook over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to break down and the liquid begins to evaporate.

Stir in the lentils until they are coated and add the broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Return the heat to medium, add the pasta and cook until it reaches al dente. Season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired.

Served the soup garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Feel free to leave out the salt and pepper until the end of cooking to flavor to taste. I found that I wanted to add salt as I went. I use no salt added canned tomatoes as well as reduced sodium broth.

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

 

27 Responses to “Vegetable-Lentil Soup”

  1. #
    Curt — October 12, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    Looks like an awesome recipe to avoid beef for a while! I love lentil soup.

  2. #
    Alyssa — October 12, 2011 @ 7:18 am

    I’ve never cooked with lentils before, but this soup looks so hearty and healthy at the same time!

  3. #
    Bev Weidner — October 12, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    Was that your first time visiting the store? It’s incredible isn’t it? It’s like a trip to DISNEYLAND for my nose.

    That soup just won my heart.

  4. #
    Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — October 12, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    This sounds fantastic! I make soup at least once a week and I definitely need to try this! The perfect hearty soup for a chilly fall day! Great recipe!

  5. #
    Kita — October 12, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    I just discovered lentils last year (yes, I moved out from under that rock to a shinier one) but am in love. This soup sounds fantastic, especially when you do need a break from meat but still want something hearty.

  6. #
    The Elegant Eggplant — October 12, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Beautiful soup. Lentil soup is one of my favorite foods of all time… so delicious!!

  7. #
    brandi — October 12, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    i love lentil soup – it’s one of my favorite fall/winter lunch and dinner options!

    so so fun to hang out last weekend at FBF 🙂

  8. #
    Liz — October 12, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

    Those tiny little pasta shapes MAKE this a beautiful soup! Love those! And I love lentil soup, too~

  9. #
    janet@fromcupcakestocaviar — October 12, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    This looks fantastic Cassie! I have a slight obsession with lentils anyway and this looks like the perfect Autumn soup. Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  10. #
    Baking Serendipity — October 12, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    I know that “I’ve had enough beef” feeling and this seems like the perfect meal to follow it up with. So comforting 🙂

  11. #
    Deidre — October 12, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Yum! These look DELICIOUS

  12. #
    Deidre — October 12, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Er these? I meant this. Typing is hard!

    AND looking pretty is overrated, it’s all about TASTE

  13. #
    Carolyn — October 12, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Great soup, I love lentils in soup. So glad you had a good time at food blog forum.

  14. #
    Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — October 12, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    I used to hate lentils, but they have grown on me over the past year! This soup looks really good and healthy!

  15. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — October 12, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

    This looks so delicious and flavorful! I can’t wait to try it!

  16. #
    Ann — October 13, 2011 @ 12:12 am

    $1 per scoop?! …heaven! The soup looks delicious and perfect after a heavy-food trip!

  17. #
    Nazarina — October 13, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    Hearty & beautiful lentil soup, & I do love your xtr. love that you have added, the pretty orzo flowers!

  18. #
    Kate@Diethood — October 13, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Oh my yumminess!! I love lentil soup… too bad I am the only one that enjoys it around here :(… they don’t know what they’re missing!

  19. #
    Steve @ the black peppercorn — October 13, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

    I love lentils. They are a great addition to many dishes and they are oh so good for you!! great post!

  20. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — October 14, 2011 @ 4:10 am

    I’ve never made lentil soup before but this sounds delish! I love Indian store too…. there’s one near my house and they sell all kinds of veggies that are much cheaper than regular supermarket…and sweets and naan… it’s fun to visit. I should get some ingredients for this soup next time!

  21. #
    Jennifer Eloff — October 14, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    Hi Cassie – I’m a low-carber but I must admit I still struggle with too much beef – can’t eat steak easily. Shhh! I prefer fish and chicken and eggs and calamari and shrimps. I can have the occasional burger, but… I can relate is what I’m saying. I’ve been incorporating more lentils lately as well.

  22. #
    sarah — October 14, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    for a not pretty soup, you sure did take a pretty picture. this looks perfect for the slew of cold days that are about to be thrown upon us. glad you had a good trip, heading back to read all of your posts i missed now!

  23. #
    Kate @ Kate from Scratch — October 14, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    I love these rich, deep flavors. What a fantastic recipe.

  24. #
    Angie@Angiesrecipes — October 14, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Love lentil soup..so warm and comforting.

  25. #
    Colleen Bierstine — October 14, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    I love lentil soup, it’s ideal for vegetarians such as myself! I also love that adorable little pasta you used 😀

  26. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — October 14, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    I wish we had a store like that near here, but I live in the middle of nowhere! LOL Your soup looks perfect for cool fall evenings–so comforting!

  27. #
    Melanie — October 14, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

    Looks like a great warm comfort food, great on a cold day!

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