Jan 22, 2009

lentil soup

why do i love lentil soup so much? (and i do). it has a ton of iron and protein in it. it has onion, celery, carrot, potato, and leek as well as lentils. it is delicious and doesn't require bean/legume soaking of any kind. better than split pea and no soaking! comes together in 30 minutes. hearty peasant fare. it really helps to have really great quality lentils lying around your pantry, which i have recently found grown in the usa from a stylish lentil company in montana. they sell a few different varieties. the ones in the soup above are the larger green lentils, next i am going to try the smaller, darker european style ones.

lentil soup

1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, small dice
1.5 cups diced potatoes
1 large leek, sliced
1 cup lentils
2 quarts natural chicken stock (i use health valley from whole foods)

sautee onion and celery for 3 minutes or so on medium/medium high heat in a bit of olive oil (i use organic extra virgin olive oil because we eat so much of it, i use it for just about everything, no more butter for me except in baked goods). next add lentils and chicken stock. stir. add carrots and potatoes. bring to boil, then cook for 20 minutes at a nice strong simmer. add sliced leeks. cook another 10 minutes. adjust seasonings. add salt or pepper if needed. 

lemon juice or sour cream can finish this off nicely. but i rarely use them and tuck right in as is, au naturale. love it. r and the kids often request the addition of a bit of ham, i rarely listen, but it is delicious when you do add a bit of ham, if you are in the mood for that sort of thing. but me, i rarely want ham in the way while enjoying some delicious vegetables, but this is family cooking isn't it? occasionally i give in, but truthfully, i sometimes say with a sly smile, "that would be lovely, go ahead and put some in, next time you make the lentil soup." yes, it must be awful, having to eat the food my preferred way most of the time. in my view, it is for their own good (nutritionally speaking) and i always invite them to cook anything they want anytime. of course, i'll help them along, chopping, setting the table, even clean up. everyone needs motivation, a reason to cook. my greatest motivation as a cook is the eating. i love to eat healthy, delicious, wonderful food and i will work hard to make it, as long as i get to eat it.

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