Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 87: Lentil Soup

There is nothing better for Saturday supper than a bowl of lentil soup and a good piece of bread. I've said it before and I will say it again, lentils are one of the most perfect foods that God has made.

Lentil soup is the easiest soup to make. No broth is required, and no sauteeing or otherwise pre-cooking the vegetables. Home made Lentil Soup has it all over anything that comes in a can as well. Have you ever taken note of how much salt there is in canned lentil soup? Making it yourself will also save you a bundle. I am going to do an actual cost calculation - I will gather prices next time I visit the grocery store and report to you here - but I bet I can make a big pot of soup that serve about 8 people (with big dinner-sized bowls) for about the price of a can of premium soup that will serve two people at most.

Basic Lentil Soup - from the MooseWood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
Rinse 1 bag of dried brown lentils, put them in a pot with 7-8 cups of water and 2 tsp salt, bring them to a boil, then turn down to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes or so.
Meanwhile - chop: 1 onion, 2 Carrots, 2 stalks of celery and 8 cloves of garlic
When the lentil have cooked for 20 minutes, add all the vegetables plus:1 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp each dried thyme leaves and dried oregano - mix it up, then simmer for another 20  minutes.
Add 1 can chopped tomatoes, or chopped stewed tomatoes and cook for 10 more minutes.
Serve with a splash of red wine vinegar (or some freshly grated parmesan) or both.
1. Leave out the carrots and celery and instead add 4-6 cups chopped fresh spinach with the tomatoes
2. Add any small cooked pasta (tubetine, small bowties, even elbows) to either version

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