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Lentil Soup

March 24, 2010
tags: ,

Chicago takes its sweet time to welcome Spring,  so I decided to try some pretty red lentils in my standard recipe thinking it would add some springtime pizzazz and move things along. I was a little sad to watch the color fade away as they cooked. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I did use my favorite black beluga lentils, though, as well a jar of tomatoes I’d put up at the end of the Summer when the sun was hot and my garden was overflowing. I hope a bowl of this will take the chill off.

Lentil Soup

adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook (my copy is inscribed by my niece Elizabeth dated 4/11/92 ” To Amy, don’t burn the house down.  Love, Lizzy”)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

1/2  cup minced carrots

4 cups water (may need more during cooking)

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

1 pkg. black beluga lentils ( I buy them at Trader Joe’s, pre-cooked)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. sea salt (remember Maldon from a previous post)

1/2 cup canned tomato, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, pureed

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup red wine (I had a Malbec open, use whatever good red wine you have on hand)

In large pot heat olive oil and sauté onion, garlic then celery and carrots. Add rinsed brown lentils (wait to add any pre-cooked lentils until later), water, salt and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add red lentils and cook for another 20 minutes. Finally add pre-cooked lentils, tomatoes, pepper, vinegar, wine, brown sugar, molasses, lemon juice and red wine. Cook for another 15 minutes.

Red Lentils before cooking

Garlic – Before chopping garlic, cut in half and remove the “anima” or soul. That’s what the old ladies in Italy and Spain do and they know their garlic.

“A nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.”  – Old New York Yiddish Saying



4 Comments leave one →
  1. Margo Czechowski permalink
    March 25, 2010 8:10 am

    Amy, the soup looks great!!! Wanted to tell you that I had a Beef Roast and I was so tired of “Roasts” so I tried your Beef Steak recipe…on the grill. They were so easy and a great change of pace :):) Thanks!!! Margo (Beth’s sister)

    • March 25, 2010 9:24 am

      Margo – I’m so happy you tried something and liked it! thanks for following me and my cooking adventures. Amy

  2. March 25, 2010 3:18 pm

    Thanks for the tip on the garlic! This may reveal my amateur cook status but… Is it true that the garlic is bad once the little green thing sprouts out of the top? Sometimes it happens RIGHT after I buy it! So fun to have an expert friend!!

  3. March 25, 2010 4:14 pm

    Nancy, Garlic is only “bad” when it gets spongy. It doesn’t have much favor to it. The best way to store garlic is in a cool place away from sunlight with good air circulation. Do not store in the refridgerator as it can get soft and moldy same with a plastic container.There is actually a special container with holes in the top made just for storing garlic. I ususally only buy 2 bulbs at a time, but I cook alot so go through it pretty quickly. Buy good firm bulbs with dry, papery covering and no sprouting. Hope this helps. Amy

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