Thursday, 22 May 2014

Simple, Hearty & Delicious Lentil & Spinach Soup!

Great Lentil & Spinach Soup Recipe!

Great vegetarian soup that even an avid meat eater such as myself could enjoy!

I was pleasantly surprised when it tasted sooooo good lol

(My wife had been begging me for months to get on some vegetarian dishes XD)


What You'll Need:

-1 15oz can of Diced Tomatoes w/juices. (about 1 3/4 - 2 cups)
-1 1/4 Cup Green Lentils (rinsed)
-1 Tbsp Olive Oil
-1 Medium Celery Stalk (small dice)
-1 Medium Carrot (small dice)
-1/2 a Medium Yellow Onion (small dice)
-3 Medium Garlic Cloves (minced)
-1 Bay Leaf
-1/2 Tsp of Fresh Chopped Thyme Leaves
-1 Quart (4 Cups) Vegetable Broth
-1 Tsp Red Wine Vinegar
-2 oz of Spinach leaves (half a bunch-ish)
-Kosher Salt
-Ground Blak Pepper

Step 1: Create a "Mirepoix" (aka. The soups soul)

"Mirepoix" is just a fancy french word for diced carrots, onions and celery. The three common aromatic vegetables and arguably the building block of most good soups. Most important thing here is to keep the dice of all three veggies about the same size so that they cook evenly.

Step 2: Cooking the "Mirepoix"

Heat the olive oil in a large pan (or pot) on medium heat until it is hot and shimmering, about 3 minutes.
Then cook the mirepoix until the veggies are soft and onions begin to be transparent, about 10 minutes. It should look something the picture above. (my veggies browned a tiny bit because daddy duties called and didn't stir enough. But was great nonetheless!)
Proceed to add the minced garlic and stir constantly cooking until you smell the garlic, about 1 minute. Do NOT cook the garlic too long. Thats about the only thing that can screw this soup up. 1 minute is more than enough. 
Then add a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste.

Step 3: The Soups Body

 Add the vegetable stock and tomatoes (with juices).

Then add your lentils, thyme and bay leaf. Stir well and cover until simmering, bout a good 15 minutes. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and simmer until lentil and vegetables are soft. I'd say another good 15 minutes. At this point taste it and adjust your seasoning.

And the final touch! Add your spinach leaves and stir until they are wilted. Served warm!


Quick Tips:

- You can easily cook bacon and use the fat in the pan that instead of olive oil to cook the mirepoix and then throw in the bacon in with the spinach at the end.
-You can also substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock.
-And since it's in small quantities, the red wine vinegar can certainly be replaced by red cooking wine.

Enjoy =)

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