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Lentil veggie soup with greens

Lentils are probably my favorite legume.  Unlike beans, which usually need an overnight soak, lentils give you the option of spontaneity.  I got inspired to combine them with the gorgeous swiss chard that Faucette Farms is currently selling at the Farmer’s Curb Market.  Chard is less bitter than kale or turnip greens, and I love it for its vibrant green leaves and hot-pink (or bright yellow) stalks.

This is a one-pot dish that requires a large pot and about an hour to cook, the results of which yield a warm, hearty bowl of tasty veg.

I used the following:

1 large onion

4 carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 28 oz. can tomatoes*

6 c. stock (chicken or veg, cook’s choice)

Several large leaves of swiss chard, lower stalks removed (spinach, collards, or turnip greens would also work well), leaves sliced into long ribbons

1 c. brown lentils, washed

Herbs:  Bay leaf and a few sprigs of thyme & rosemary

Parmesan rind

S & P to taste

*Beware the BPA in canned foods.  Beginning this year, Muir Glenn is lining its cans with BPA-free materials, so they are my brand of choice.

Heat a little olive oil in your pot, adding diced onion & carrot when the oil is hot. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are soft (approx. 10 mns.) They’re done when they look like this:

Then, add garlic and cook about a minute, until fragrant.  Add tomatoes with their juice, stirring to remove any bits of veg stuck to the bottom.  Simmer until most of the liquid has reduced (approx. 15 mns).  Then, add stock (water is fine to use, but using stock will produce a more flavorful soup), and bring to a boil.  If you are using stock, be sure to buy low-sodium; otherwise, your soup will be quite salty.

Once the liquid has boiled, add lentils, herbs, and parm rind.  Cover and reduce heat, simmering soup for 30 mns.  When lentils are soft (give them a taste), adjust seasoning and add chard (or the greens of your choice) and again cover to wilt the leaves.  Once the greens are tender, fish out the bay leaf and rosemary stalk (although I always forget), taste and serve.

I generally shave a little parm on top of each bowl.

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