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Sep 14 2014

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My First Lentil Soup

It continues to be 100+° here in Sacramento and I’m still obsessed with making soup. Maybe because it’s comforting and it makes the house smell amazing, maybe because I continue to believe it’s the perfect lunch time solution for me. Cooking up a storm with the ceiling fan going, the AC on full blast in shorts and a tank top is a tad strange – but I’m going with it.

I decided that I would tackle making lentil soup. I’ve pinned quite a few lentil recipes as non-meat alternatives, but I’ve never really explored the nutritional value and where they came from. I hopped online and found a Mediterranean Snacks site that had some pretty cool info. Did you know that humans have been eating lentils since prehistoric times? Lentils were a staple for ancient Near-Eastern and European cultures, and were most likely the very first cultivated crop. Archaeologists have discovered lentils from the Paleolithic period (10,000 BC) in the Franchthi Cave in southern Greece and at the ancient settlement of Mureybet on the banks of the Euphrates. Lentils gradually spread out of the Middle East and became popular throughout all of Europe. I did not know that. I just thought they always came layered in designer glass jars for display in kitchens all over HGTV. 😉

Foodiddy - Lentil Soup

After searching quite a few sites, I found a recipe that peaked my interest from Dinner Was Delicious on tumblr. I decided to give it a try. The ingredient list seemed simple enough and I liked a few of the twists that I didn’t see in other traditional lentil soup recipes. I did tweak the measurements a bit and those will be reflected in my version of the recipe.

Foodiddy---Lentil-Soup-Ingreditents

The Ingredients – Serves 6-8

  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 4 Carrots
  • 4 Stalks Celery
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Lentils
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 2 Quarts (64 fluid ounces) Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Cup Water – if needed for desired consistency
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 6 Whole Sprigs Thyme
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

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This was a new method of roasting garlic for me. I set my dry dutch oven over medium heat on the stove and dropped in the garlic cloves with their peels still on. I let them toast for a few minutes (3-4) on each side, until the skins were browned and the cloves were fragrant.

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I then roughly chopped the onion, carrots, and celery.

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I added the olive oil to the dutch oven and sautéed the mixture until tender. I then peeled and smashed up the garlic with the side of my knife and added it back to the pot, along with the lentils and cumin. I made sure that the lentils were nicely coated in the olive oil before adding the broth.

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I then emptied both boxes of veggie broth into the pot and added the bay leaf and whole sprigs of thyme. I let the soup simmer until the lentils were tender, about 45-50 minutes. At one point I did add 1 cup of water as I felt the liquid had absorbed a little too much – this kept the pot on the stove for an additional 5-10 minutes. I hunted for the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs and fished those out of the pot before seasoning with salt and pepper. I served the soup piping hot with fresh thyme as a topper.

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I also cut a few pieces from a sourdough baguette and toasted up some garlic croutons that were a great addition to the soup. I’m a sucker for carbs, so in my world, toasted garlic bread pretty much goes with anything.

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This was a very hearty soup – the addition of the cumin really reminded me of a vegetarian chili I had tasted at a chili cook-off in college – which I loved. I liked that it didn’t have tomatoes like some of the other lentil soup recipes I found online and I also liked that as the days went on, the flavors really developed. The roasted garlic was one of my favorite ingredients in the soup – glad I doubled the amount suggested.

Lentil Soup
Lentils are a versatile, budget-friendly and healthy addition to many recipes. This delicious, hearty lentil soup is really easy to make and definitely delivers on taste. Serves 6-8.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 Cloves Garlic
  2. 1 Yellow Onion
  3. 4 Carrots
  4. 4 Stalks Celery
  5. 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  6. 2 Cups Lentils
  7. 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  8. 2 Quarts (64 fluid ounces) Vegetable Broth
  9. 1 Cup Water - if needed for desired consistency
  10. 1 Bay Leaf
  11. 6 Whole Sprigs Thyme
  12. Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Set a large pot/dutch oven over medium heat and drop in the garlic cloves with their peels still on. Let them toast for a few minutes on each side, until the skins are browned and fragrant, and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the onion, carrots and celery. Add the olive oil to the pot/dutch oven and sauté until tender.
  3. Peel and smash up garlic and then add it back to the pot, along with the lentils and cumin. Cook for a minute or two, until the lentils are nicely coated in olive oil. Empty the vegetable broth into the pot and add the bay leaf and whole sprigs of thyme.
  4. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45-50 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and cooked down thyme sprigs and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Serve hot with fresh thyme sprinkled on top.
Adapted from Dinner Was Delicious
Adapted from Dinner Was Delicious
Foodiddy http://foodiddy.com/
I’m getting over my “dry beans are too much work” mentality. Lentils are a cheap and healthy source of protein, dietary fiber, iron and potassium and something I should eat more of. Lentils come in a variety of colors – brown (the color I used) green, red and all shades in between. I look forward to exploring more varieties and lentil recipes in the near future.

Are you a lentil fan? Have any good lentil recipes to share?
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1 comment

  1. Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Lentil was one of the first soups I made, and it comes out very delicious every time! But like you, I’m dying in the heat,so no soups for a while.

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