When I get obsessed with a food, I get really obsessed. Like I’ll eat a particular food every day until my friends stage an intervention. I think the first time this happened was the summer I was nine. Ever wonder how many tiny tuna sandwiches a girl can make from a long, skinny loaf of French bread?
I know the answer. To say more is to tell you too much about me.
Luckily, I outgrew that obsession before it was taken away from me.
So, other foods that have inspired this level of devotion in me? Chopped salad. Oh, a good chopped salad is like heaven. This may be where I determined salads should be good or not offered at all.
And lentil soup. I think I was 28 or so when I first had lentil soup. I was wary, coming from a household where vegetables were regarded with suspicion. Of course, I was also trying to be totally cool with the fact that I tried a) hummus (OMG!) and b) lentil soup in the same meal.
Nothing was ever the same.
Making lentil soup is absurdly simple. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, there is only one rule, and that is the addition of acid right before serving. Lemon juice or vinegar turns lentil soup into something one obsesses over. Don’t be shy, taste and taste, adjust.
Trust me. After all, I ate lentil soup every day for, oh man, a month!
[box type=”note” style=”rounded” border=”full”]This soup can be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.[/box]
By April 26, 2013Published:
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 45 mins
- Ready In: 60 mins
Lentil soup is comforting and delicious. You can modify the ingredients to suit your personal tastes; just remember to add a touch of acid before serving.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf optional
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes mostly drained
- 2 cups lentils do not soak!
- 8 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice or light vinegar or to taste
- 1/2 cup spinach or other greens lightly chopped
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until tender, about 8 − 10 minutes. (I like mine with a little bite since I reheat the soup throughout the week.)
- Add the garlic and seasonings, including the paprika. Saute for about two minutes.
- Add the wine, stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any browned veggies. Cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, lentils, and broth. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Season the soup with salt and pepper. Taste. Add the lemon juice/vinegar. Notice how the flavor brightens up. Don’t be shy with the acid, but don’t overdo it. Taste, taste, taste.
- If you like a thicker soup, use an immersion blender (or transfer 1/3 of the soup to a regular blender) to break down some of the solids.
- Add the greens if using. Cook until they’re wilted.
- Do one more taste and adjust the seasonings.