Smoky Lentil Soup

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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

serves 4

  • 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.

Wash your lentils well.

Carrots, onions, and celery cooking.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

All in all, lentils aren’t my favorite bean, but this was a quite tasty version. And very healthy, too!

By the way, every evening (unless we forget!) we ask ‘what are you having for dinner’ on our Facebook page… So if you’re on facebook, we’d love to have you add your inspiration to the pot! Come “Like” Us!

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