Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tangy Lentil Soup

Piquancy is not a quality I generally expect in a lentil soup. 

This may look like a Standard Lentil Soup (SLS if yr reading this on your phone), but it's pungent. If I were Guy Fieri, I'd probably call this In-Your-Face Lentils. Actually, that's probably not obnoxious enough to be an accurate representation of his annoyance machine's naming process, but you get to picture. The flavor is not flaccid; these lentils are far from lackadaisical (and other alliterative adjectives). This soup insists you pay attention to each and every bite.

For that reason, this recipe may not be everyone's cup of tea soup. Classics are classics for a reason, and my go-to lentil soup recipe is still going to be this one. But that's the joy of Soupruary: every day means adding a new page to the recipe book of my life, and trying something different just because.

If you haven't figured it out yet, the whole point of this blog is to see how many pictures of carrots/onions/celery I can post in a single month.

Logan brought this recipe to me from work a few months ago and it's been hanging out on my fridge since then. When I came home for lunch today, unsure of what I'd be preparing tonight: blammo! Right under my nose. It was kismet (that took like 3 months to become serendipitous). 

Most of this recipe is totally SLS. The part where the flavor goes gonzo is the addition of tamari and unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with all its dubious (or dubiously dubious, depending on your beliefs) health benefits).

But really, the best part of this soup was that the soup didn't matter. Cooking tonight was just an excuse to spend time with some of my favorite people. Who even cares about dinner when there's a soul mate, an AWESOME baby, and one of history's best Daves?

Maya was a bit miffed I didn't make a puree.

Taking the time to sit down and share a meal with great people in a relaxed, home environment can sometimes be more memorable than the fanciest dinner out. That's a lesson I need to remember year-round. [DISENGAGE SAPPINESS DRIVE]

Don't forget some delicious Maya for dessert!

Tangy Lentil Soup
Adapted slightly from Whole Foods "Health Starts Here" Hearty Lentil Soup
Serves 6-8


2 quarts vegetable broth
1 large shallot, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
4 small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pound brown lentils, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tamari
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh rosemary


Put 1/2 cup vegetable broth in your soup pot over medium high heat. Add shallot, celery, carrot, and garlic, and cook about 5 minutes.

Add lentils and enough broth to cover lentils by an inch, and bring to a simmer for half an hour. Check on it every five minutes or so, adding more broth as needed to keep the lentils covered by an inch. Check at 30 minutes to be sure lentils are tender -- if they aren't, cook a bit longer.

If lentils are tender, add all remaining ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove thyme and rosemary sprigs and serve with a nice crusty bread.

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