i’ve been traveling so much lately there’s been very little time for homecooking. or if i make an effort, it’s something super fast like a chopped salad, glass noodles, or pan-fried fish.
i was forced to slow down last week when i caught a nasty cold. i felt inspired to make a gigantic pot of lentil soup, based around a lovely bag of organic french lentils purchased from friends at ludgate farms. usually i prefer my lentils in dal form, with tumeric and nutmeg, and over rice.
but a few hours later, my kitchen smelled fantastic. and a few minutes after that, my stomach felt wonderful and i felt a million times better. therapeutic soup, this is! it was incredibly delicious, filling, healthy and restorative. much more substantial than your traditional chicken noodle, but probably even healthier, what with all the crazy legume action.
i know this soup doesn’t look like much – but trust me, this is an annual winter dinner standby. easy to make if you have the time. i had it for lunch every day in the next 3 days and it just gets better as the hours tick on.
- 2 cups french (brown) lentils (they’ll hold their shape better)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth + water to add in case
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 head broccoli
- 3 carrots, roughly diced
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 ear of fresh corn, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, diced finely
- 1 heaping tbsp each of cumin, smoked paprika, herbs de provence, oregano
- 22oz diced red tomatoes
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 sage leaves
- salt and pepper
and that’s it! next time, i might use less lentils. this made so much i had to keep adding water so it didn’t turn into dal or whatever.
saute onion, carrots and spices in a crock pot with equal amounts butter and olive oil (i used about 1 tbsp of each) until soft. about 10 mins.
add two cups of lentils (picked over for stones, and rinsed) and stir. add garlic and stir. add can of tomatoes. stir. bring to a rolling boil.
add juice of half lemon, then throw in rind. add bay leaves, stir. add 4 cups chicken broth and cover.
the lentils will take anywhere between 30-45 minutes to cook, depending on the heat and your preference. i like mine to give ever so slightly, and still feel firm. this took about 40 minutes. i lost a lot of liquid in the cooking process, and probably added 2 more cups of water to the pot overall.
add in chopped broccoli florets and simmer for about 20-25 mins.
at the end, throw in the corn and heat through. squeeze juice of other lemon in, and stir.
serve with toasted, crusty bread. i had a leftover baguette end and it was perfect.