Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Barefoot Contessa's French Lentil Soup

I really like soup. I usually make a lot of soup in a winter, however I realized I've relied on old favorites this winter and not really branched out. There are certain classic recipes that I turn to time and time again. This happens to be one of them. It is from the original Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and is flavorful and lentil-y.... in a good way.

This recipe yields a lot of soup. Sometimes I'm really great at making it through a recipe before getting sick of it. This was not one of those times. I hate wasting food, and try very hard to keep it from happening. But sometimes it does. So, if you're cooking for two (or fewer then the 8-10 servings in the recipe, I would consider making a half batch. Or getting one's act together soon to freeze portions. That was my plan, but the act getting didn't quite happen.

So, here's a tried and true which gets made at least once a year in my kitchen. I often forget to say this, but I always sub veggie broth. And doing so would also make it vegan. Enjoy!

Barefoot Contessa's French Lentil Soup
Barefoot Contessa
Recipe by Ina Garten
Serves - 8 -10
  • 1 pound French green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • Boiling water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In a large heatproof bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic, leeks, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper and the thyme and cumin and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the celery and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and lentils to the pot. Increase the heat to high, cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in the red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

Note - Lentil soup often thickens as it stands, so it can be helpful to add additional broth to leftovers.

4 comments:

CHIC-HANDSOME said...

have a great week

Jenn Addenda said...

I just made this soup tonight and it was AWESOME. A touch heavy on the salt for me and I even held off serving it with grated parmesan but nobody else seemed to think so. Many compliments.

Thanks!

Amy said...

I have made this soup at least 4 times and LOVE it! I use low sodium broth whether it be Vegetable or Chicken, and so far haven't noticed it to be too salty.
It does make a large portion and I freeze half of it to eat later.

Anonymous said...

Made this twice so far. I added turmeric for an added touch of health & an extra teaspoon of vinegar. Excellent!