I'm sorry to go on about the weather but with the temperature plummeting and yet another threat of snow, I felt I had no choice but to make a large, hearty pot of lentil soup. I love the French de Puy lentils, they're almost "meaty" in texture.
I find I'm warmed through and filled up with the benefit of feeling virtuous in feeding my family such a healthy soup. Served with some warm bread and perhaps a nice fresh side salad, this makes a great lunch (or a bolstering snack guzzled out of a thermos in the back seat of the car by a cold, wet child after swim practice).
- Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 sticks of celery, washed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 cup of French de Puy lentils
- 4 cups of organic chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh parsley.
- In a large soup pot heat the olive oil and add the onion, saute on medium low heat for 5 minutes. Add the celery, carrots and parsnips and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, add the minced garlic, cook for a further 2 minutes, making sure everything is soft but not browned.
- Stir in the cumin, (I absolutely LOVE the smell of the cumin as it hits the hot pan, it sends me to the moon!) then add the lentils. Stir them around well so they are lightly covered with the oil and veggies, then add 1 tablespoon of the chopped parsley, stock, tomato paste and bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover. Let the soup simmer away on the stove for approximately 30 minutes or until the lentils are nice and tender. Remove from heat and add the red wine vinegar, remainder of the parsley and remove the bay leaves.
- My daughters like this served with an enormous helping of grated parmesan cheese stirred in for good measure. I don't blame them.