Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Bean A Long Winter

The bad news is that there was a blizzard in March!!! The good news is that it IS March and the snow will probably be gone in a day.

I wish these were the tiny stones on a beautiful beach somewhere, but almost as good...

they're actually lentils for soup.

When it's THIS cold outside the only to do is to make soup!

I go through different soup stages. Sometimes it's Minestrone, more often than not it's Carrot Vichyssoise. Lately, I've been making a super easy Lentil Soup.

Here's the formula to every cup of lentils,
1 onion
2 carrots
½ red pepper
4 cups of stock
lots of salt and pepper
optional: 1 piece of ham and 1 to 2 tsps. red wine vinegar

That's IT!

Here's how to proceed:

Triple Lentil Soup
1 cup brown lentils
1 cup French green lentils or Lentilles de Puy
1 cup red or orange lentils
2 tbls. olive oil
optional: 2 to 3 pieces of ham, chopped
3 largish onions, diced

6 carrots, diced
1 tsp. each Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more if necessary
1 1/2 – 2 red peppers, chopped
12 cups vegetable stock
optional: 1 to 2 tsps. red wine vinegar

Rinse lentils in a colander and remove anything that looks stone-like.

Heat olive oil in large stock pot. If using, add ham and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in onions and carrots with a big pinch of salt and pepper and cook on medium high heat until you hear a sizzle. Stir once again, cover and turn down heat to low or medium low. Sweat vegetables until onions are COMPLETELY soft, stirring every once in a while. If you have 20 minutes to do this, GREAT! The softer the onions, the sweeter and richer the flavor.

Add red pepper after 15 minutes of the cooking and continue to sweat (the vegetables, not you) another 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils.

Stir in vegetable stock. Taste for seasoning. Bring to boil, cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes.

If you think the soup needs a bit of zing, stir in red wine vinegar. (Half the time I do, half the time I don't.)

Serve as is or blend 2 cups of the finished soup and stir back into the pot for a thicker soup.

Note: For an even thicker soup, only a little less stock. For 3 cups of lentils, use 10 cups of stock instead of 12.


The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Lentil soup is always a winner. It's easy. It's cheap. It's good for you. I am on a budget this week and I have tons of lentils in the cabinet and tons of stock in the freezer. Time for some soup to happen!

Emily said...

WOW, it's incredibly beautiful. I love the colors of the lentils. You know it's going to be good for you.
I've never cooked lentils before.. never.