Continuing on with my winter-long soup theme, today, I present some really good lentil soup. This recipe is basic, but it offers a nice, hearty meal, which is perfect for a winter day. And the best part is that it makes a ton of it. Well, it will if you double up like I did. Last night, I prepared a large Dutch oven’s worth and had leftovers of more than a gallon. That should feed us for a few more night. That’s for sure.
There’s something about vegetable soups that just make me feel good. Perhaps because they’re so pure and that they’ve been enjoyed for centuries. There’s nothing really special about them, other than the choice of ingredients used. That’s really what differentiates many of them from one another. As far as this recipe goes, it calls for onion, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato and lentils. It’s straightforward, but there are a few twists involved that will add to the taste. These twists involve white wine and balsamic vinegar, which I’ve been seeing a lot of lately.
I did a little reading last night and discovered that there are many different types of lentils available. I found really dark varieties and some more medium toned ones, but the lentils I used were of the standard grocery store stock. They are medium to light green and were perfect for this soup. If you have a favorite style, go ahead with whatever you enjoy because I don’t think it will make a difference in the preparation.
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Large Carrots, Chopped
4 Celery Stalks, Chopped
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 14.5 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
1 Cup Lentils
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
I’d like to thank America’s Test Kitchen for their wonderful resource called The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook. I pulled this recipe from it and it’s outstanding. I particularly liked the cooking method used. I’ll explain that below.
Soften the Carrots, Onion & Celery
Warm a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add three tablespoons of olive oil to it as well as the carrots, celery and onion. Stir these ingredients and let them cook for about five minutes. They should soften slightly during this time.
Add the Tomatoes & Garlic
Next, stir in the garlic and thyme and continue cooking for another four minutes. After that, add in the tomatoes, stir and cook for two more minutes.
Add the Lentils
At this point, you can go ahead and add the lentils to the pot. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper as well. Stir all the ingredients together well and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let everything cook for 10 minutes.
Simmer the Soup
Raise the heat to high and add in the vegetable broth, water and white wine. When the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and partially cover the pot. Then, let everything cook for 30 minutes. The vegetables should become tender during this time and all the flavors should combine with one another.
Process Soup & Add Parsley
When the soup is finished cooking, add three cups of it to a blender. Blend until smooth and then return that portion to the pot. Mix it in with the rest. Then, add the parsley and the vinegar, mix, and you’re finished with the cooking.
Plate the Soup
Divide the soup among bowls and enjoy. You can season with salt and pepper if necessary.
The Final Lentil Vegetable Soup
See? That wasn’t very difficult. Like I said, I doubled up on this soup because I wanted it to last. This is a nice enduring recipe that should satisfy you for years to come. If you decide to give this one a try, please let me know what you think down in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!