A Classic Lentil Soup

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Aka Cam's favorite lentil soup.  (It's so easy having a food blog when your husband is a brilliant cook.)  Our weekend routine includes plenty of of time in the kitchen.  Part of it is developing and shooting recipes for Meats + Sweets and the other part Cameron making delicious soups and salads for us to eat during the week.  They are always excellent and healthy, and I'm pleased to share this one.  It is one of our personal favorites.  

For a heartier meal, serve over rice, grains or whole grain pasta.  We usually eat it over a pile of farro.  (Have you tried Kamut pasta? I have a box of it in the pantry that I'm pondering what to do with.)

Makes 8 servings. 

Cameron's Favorite Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

3 medium carrots, peeled, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups french green lentils

4 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

2 cups cremini or shitake mushrooms, chopped

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lime juice or red wine vinegar (optional + to taste)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot and add carrots, onion, celery, poblano and garlic.  Stew over medium high heat, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  

Add stock, lentils, thyme, cumin, coriander, curry, chile flakes and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add mushrooms.  Let simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  

Season with salt, pepper and lime juice/vinegar.  

Spicy Lentil Soup + Parmesan Toasts

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Perfect soup for a snowy day, hearty and healthy with a spicy kick.  Also good served with rice or a side of sautéed leafy greens.

Spicy Lentil Soup

1 cup french green lentils

1 cup red lentils

drizzle olive oil

1 medium onion or leek, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

2 bay leaves

few sprigs fresh thyme

1 dried guajillo pepper, sliced in 1/2 and seeded

2 quarts vegetable stock

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander seed

1 - 2 parmesan cheese rinds

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splash red wine vinegar, as needed

Parmesan Toasts

baguette bread, sliced

olive oil

parmesan cheese, grated

black pepper

For the Soup:  Rinse lentils thoroughly in cold water and carefully pick through for stones and other debris.  Set aside.  In a large soup pot sauté onion, carrot and celery in a drizzle of olive oil over med high heat until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, poblano, thyme and bay.  Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.  Add stock, guajillo, cumin, coriander, parmesan rind and lentils.  Wait to add salt until the lentils are almost done.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until green lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and maybe a little red wine vinegar.  Serve hot.  (Chopped fresh parsley and a small drizzle of olive oil are nice garnishes.)

For the Toasts:  Slice as many pieces of bread as you like.  Brush with oil and toast in a dry pan over medium heat.  Flip once and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Turn off heat.  Season with a turn or two of fresh black pepper.  Remove from pan.  Serve with soup.