Soup is one of my all-time favorite food groups. Especially on a cold and rainy day like today, there really is nothing better than coming home to a steamy bowl of hearty goodness. For this reason, I make sure to always have a stash of dried goods (black beans, split peas, lentils, etc), but more importantly I like to have soup at the ready in my freezer. The beauty of soup is that you do not have to eat the same darn leftovers for the rest of the week. Instead, freeze the remaining soup in pint and/or quart containers – the pints are perfect single serving for a night in or to bring to work, the quarts are great for two.
Lentil soup is also a great recipe for the beginner cook – it is simple and straightforward but teaches some very useful techniques. It is also a great base from which to add your own flair and flavor: instead of carrots, add a 28oz can of diced tomatoes, or if you don’t have fresh thyme add 1tbl ground cumin in with the onions.
- 2 lbs green lentils, dried
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 lg carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbl fresh thyme
- ½ cup white wine
- 8-9 quarts stock/water (I use water to lower the sodium)
- 2 tbl kosher salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- Dice the onion and carrots. Mince the garlic or put through garlic press. Get your largest pot (at least at 10 quart!) and heat up a tablespoon or two of oil. Once hot, toss in the onions and carrots, turn the heat to medium and sprinkle in a tbl of salt.
- Stirring often, cook until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir to get any bits stuck on the bottom.
- Add the lentils and water. Turn heat up until it reaches a boil, then reduce heat and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes, until lentils are tender.
- To thicken the soup a bit, remove 2-3 cups of lentils and 1 cup of water – puree in a blender or with emersion blender and pour back into the pot.
- Taste and season with remaining salt and pepper to taste.