Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hearty Lentil Soup

How to exercise the brain: shop at the other grocery store in town. The one you never shop at because it's across town. When you get off the wrong off-ramp and find yourself at that end of town, what the heck. That's what happened today. I'm feeling it. I may be able to call it a workout. I was back and forth, across and over, down this aisle and that, then back over there, determined to get everything on the list. My brain is pounding a bit.

It's indicative of my week. Taking a few wrong turns, I'm behind with everything. It's Thursday and late, but I'm going to get my Wednesday Vegan Day down. It was such a delicious day.

Hearty Lentil Soup
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Deborah Madison
2 tbls olive oil
2 cups diced onion
3 large garlic cloves
salt and freshly milled pepper
3 tbls tomato paste
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups French green or brown lentils,
sorted and rinsed
1 tbls Dijon mustard
1 tbls sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
chopped celery leaves and parsley

Heat the oil in a soup pot over high heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to color around the edges, 5 - 7 minutes. Meanwhile, mince or pound the garlic in a mortar with 1 tsp salt. Work the tomato paste into the onion, then add the garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaves and parsley and cook for 3 minutes. Add the lentils, 2 quarts water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, 25-35 minutes.
Stir in the mustard and vinegar. Taste and add more of either as needed. Check the salt, season with plenty of pepper. Remove the bay leaves, and server, garnished with the celery leaves and parsley. The longer the soup sits before serving, the better it will taste. So why not make it a day ahead?

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