Friday, March 6, 2015

Smokey Lentil Soup

I readily admit that I am terrible at food photography, but this has to be one of the most unappetizing-looking dishes I've ever posted. Don't let that fool you! This soup is delicious. It's hearty, intensely flavorful without a lot of ingredients, and perfect for a rainy (or snowy) day.

I've been trying to explore the world of meatless dishes, particularly those that aren't dependent on cheese for protein. My toddler lives on cheese and bread and my husband loves cheese pizza and quesadillas, so let's just say that I've bought more cheese in the last few years than I had in the prior 30-some years of my life combined. Anyway, I digress.

For this recipe, I used homemade turkey stock, which also probably oomphed up the flavor a bit, but I'm betting it's mostly the cumin. Maybe the roasted garlic? I also used sexy multi-colored organic carrots, but taste-wise a carrot is a carrot. We had this as our main dish for supper paired with crusty bread a couple evenings ago and then leftovers for lunch the next day.

I found this recipe on a blog called Dinner Was Delicious. The original called for double the lentils and stock, but being afraid that I was going to hate this soup, I halved the lentils, stock and spices, but kept the other ingredient quantities the same.

Smokey Lentil Soup
 photo IMG_5982.jpg

4 cloves Garlic
1 Yellow Onion
4 Carrots
4 stalks Celery
1 cup Lentils
1.5 tsp Cumin
1 qt stock (vegetable, chicken or beef would work)
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp thyme or 1 fresh sprig
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Dry roast the garlic with their peels still on in a dutch oven over medium heat. Let them toast for a few minutes on each side until the skins are browned and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Roughly chop the Onion, Carrots, and Celery. Add the Olive Oil to the dutch oven and saute veggies until browned and fork tender, but not mushy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Peel and chop or smash the garlic and add it, the lentils, and cumin to the pot. Give the mixture a few stirs and add the stock, bay leaf, and thyme.

Bring mixture to a near boil, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are tender. (Mine also doubled in size.) Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig before serving.

Serves: 2-4

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