26 February 2012

The yummiest lentil soup you'll ever eat.

I haven't always been a fan of soup.  Before I learned to cook and the only kind of soup I'd ever had was out of a can, I hated soup.  It tasted artificial and like the can it had sat in for months.

Then I got married and had a daughter, and realized I'd better learn how to cook actual food.  Since then, I've come to love soup.  When you're stuck inside because three feet of snow has iced your door shut, few things are as warm and cozy as a pot of homemade soup simmering on the stove and a loaf of bread baking in the oven.

The recipe that follows makes amazing lentil soup.  And it's easy.  You don't even need stock, just water, though you'd never know it from the taste.

Lentil Soup

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onion
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/3 cup finely diced carrot
2 bay leaves
½ cup chopped parsley
1 ½ cup lentils
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (I've used plain yellow mustard too, and it still tastes great)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Heat oil in soup pot over high heat.  Saute onions 5 – 7 minutes.  Mince garlic with 1 tsp salt.  Work tomato paste into onion, then add garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and parsley, and cook 3 minutes.  Add lentils, 2 quarts water, and ½ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, about 25 – 35 minutes.  Stir in mustard and vinegar.  Salt and pepper to taste and remove bay leaves.  The longer the soup sits over low heat before serving, the better it will taste.  Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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