Friday, April 9, 2010

The Joy of Lentil Soup

Tuesday night I made Lentil Soup with Greens via the recipe in the Joy of Cooking. It was hearty and perfect for what's sure to be one of the last chilly nights here in ATX. The funny thing is, our favorite Lentil Soup Recipe (Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Escarole from Gourmet 2008) seems to be a complete rip-off of Joy's recipe.
Okay, not a complete rip-off... but the only differences seem to be the use of ham/bacon vs. italian sausage and balsamic vinegar vs. red wine vinegar. 
I used spinach for this week's green... (Grown-up spinach not that baby stuff.) which I must say makes a lot more sense to the palate than escarole. Kale works well too btw.

Well, here's TJOC's recipe for Lentil Soup with Greens... Give it a go!

3 tbsp olive oil
4 oz ham or bacon, diced
3 med carrots, peeled and diced
3 med celery ribs, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 c dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 14oz can diced tomatoes (TJOC says to drain, I didn't and I think it makes a richer broth)
1 tsp dried (or 1 tbsp fresh) thyme
8 cups water (I think broth could make the flavor deeper, but water is cheaper!)
1 bunch kale/spinach, chopped roughly
1 1/2 tbsp+ balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Heat oil in large soup pot. Add ham/bacon and saute 3-4 minutes. Add carrots, onions, celery, and garlic; saute until veggies are tender 5-10 mins. 
Stir in lentils, tomatoes, thyme and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender 30-45 mins. Add greens to soup for last 5 minutes of cooking. Stir in balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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