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I’m on a Good Eats kick lately (gotta get my Alton fix!), and I’ve been filling up the DVR with old episodes… I happened to catch the one about lentils the other night, and picky husband indicated that the lentil soup sounded tasty. I do a lot of legumes, but I think I’ve cooked lentils maybe once… so I figured why not try again! And it was good. Read on…
I figured I’d use Alton’s recipe as a starting point… although I was a little concerned that the amount of spices seemed less than I would expect.
And, of course, I ended up tweaking it a bit… I cooked it about 2 hours, and subbed some ingredients. I left out the salt (based on comments on the food network site), and just salted as needed in the last 20 minutes. I did canned tomatoes – & more of them, used ground spices rather than grinding my own (so I upped the amounts a bit too), and upped the spicyness and added smokiness, with chipotles in adobo (prepped and saved in the freezer–using Wisdom of the Moon’s method– from when I made Enfrijoladas). That was probably the largest change, and I added that at the end when I found the initial result to be a little bland for my tastes. I really think the smoky chipotles made all the difference!
Smoky Lentil Soup
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
[How to chop onion]
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes.
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (I used about 1/3 water, instead of all broth, because that’s what I had on hand–but my homemade broth is pretty strong)
[How to make/freeze stock]
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ~1 oz chipotles in adobo sauce, pureed (see this!)
In a large soup pot, medium heat, drizzle olive oil (maybe 1-2 T). Add onion/carrot/celery, and cook ~7 min till onions are soft. Add can of tomatoes, dry spices, and lentils.
Add 2 quarts of broth. (Could go with 7 cups instead, I think).
Stir and slowly bring to just a boil, uncovered.
Reduce heat to very low and cook for 1-2 hours (Alton only did 35-40, so a shorter time would probably work.)
With about 20-30 minutes left, taste and add salt if necessary, and a dash of balsamic or red wine vinegar if desired. Stir in 1/2 of your chipotle puree and taste. Add the rest to taste.
With an immersion blender (I got this fabulous Cuisinart immersion blender for Mothers Day – Yay!) puree just a bit — you want to still see some whole lentils. (If you don’t have a stick blender, remove 1/3 of the soup to a food processor and pulse, then return to pot.)
Serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.
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