Sunday, January 31, 2010

amazing green lentil soup

This recipe comes straight to you through me from Deborah Madison's Kitchen, Vegetable Soups cookbook. I only changed one thing.

I'll let Matthew (boyfriend) be the critique.
"Look, here's the deal. Most people set off to make lentil soup with the grandest of intentions, and end up with quite mundane results. However, this recipe succeeds in both areas that a good lentil soup needs to. It is simplistic and cheep, while obtaining deliciousness."

Cheep is correct.. the only ingredient I didn't have on hand was the cilantro. $1.89 for eight servings of soup is pretty nice. Who doesn't want to make this soup now?

1 1/4 cup lentils (brown, green, black, or a mixture), soaked for 1 hour or longer
2 large cloves of garlic, pounded with 1 tsp salt
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
4 parsley branches and 4 cilantro branches tied together
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
6 chard leaves, finely chopped (I used kale here, it's just what I had)
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
yogurt, about 1 tbsp per serving, or lemon juice to taste (I used lemon juice, obviously)

makes a generous 2 quarts, (serves 8 cup size servings)

1.Drain the lentils, and put them in a soup pot with 5 cups of water, the garlic, salt, bay leaves, and parsley/cilantro bundle. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste to be sure. Remove the bay leaves and herb bundle.
2. Once the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and the cumin and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it starts to brown. 15-20 minutes. Then add to the simmering lentils.
3. When you're ready to serve, simmer the chard (kale) in a little water until soft, 8-10 minutes. Add it with any juices to the soup along with the chopped cilantro. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with a spoonful of yogurt in each bowl. Or, if you're not using yogurt, squeeze a little lemon juice into the soup before serving to bring up the acidity and brighten the flavors.


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