Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tomato and Lentil Soup

Hearty and rustic, this thick soup is made for chilly evenings.  This recipe is adapted from a recipe in my beloved cookbook, Vegetarian by Linda Fraser.

Tomato and Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lrg onion, diced
1 lrg rib celery, diced (the smaller the better)
1 lrg clove garlic, minced
1/3 C dry vermouth
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
1 C mixed red and brown lentils
3 1/2 C vegetable or chicken broth (maybe more)
2 tsp herbs de Provence
1/4 C half and half (cream or thick buttermilk will also work)
salt and pepper
chopped parsley

   Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.  Saute onion and celery until soft, about 8 minutes.
   Add garlic and vermouth.  Cook for ~2 minutes.
   Add tomatoes, lentils, broth, and herbs de Provence.  Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to medium low.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes, until brown lentils are cooked through.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  If it seems too thick, add a little more broth.
   Puree half of soup using an immersion blender, upright blender, or food processor.
   Stir in half and half.
   Top with lots of chopped parsley and serve with nice, crusty bread.
   Serves 4.

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