The holidays are over, ease back into life with a hot bowl of Lentil Soup
Alas, the holidays are over, and it’s back to life. That means back to desk lunches, even if those desks are at home. We need something fast, something filling, and hopefully, something reasonably healthy. Ease yourself back into life with Comforting Lentil Soup. Make yourself a pot of soup and have your lunches sorted for the week.
While Comforting Lentil Soup isn’t going to win you any Instagram followers, you will dine well. I like this soup with a hunk of crusty bread and a simple salad. Maybe a little cheese. When I’m feeling especially motivated, I make the bread, too.
Clean out your veggie bin and use that leftover wine from New Year’s Eve
That last bottle of wine you opened on New Year’s Eve that seemed like such a good idea? Use it in your Lentil Soup. Clear out your veggie bin, too. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried can work. You can easily make this soup vegetarian by using veggie stock. I’ve made some suggestions for how to adjust in the recipe.
A word on the lentils
This soup calls for Lentils du Puy, also known as French lentils or Beluga lentils, which are smaller and a bit more peppery than other lentils, but you could certainly use other lentils in this, especially if you’re pureeing the soup (which is what I call for).
An easy recipe and a bonus for subscribers to get breakfasts sorted, too
Other than that, there’s nothing complicated here. Build a base by sweating the veggies, add herbs, wine, and stock, and simmer until it’s done. When you’re eating a bowl of this in between meetings on Wednesday, you’ll be glad that you made the effort. This week is hard, let’s take a little comfort where we can get it.
If you’re a subscriber, I also added a “recipe” for everyday oatmeal that you can make a big pot of at the beginning of the week and have hot breakfast every morning in the time it takes to make the coffee. You’ll find it in the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box. Just hit subscribe, and you’re in! (A quick note on the Recipe Box—this soup recipe is out of order, but it is in there. There’s an issue with the page builder that needs to be sorted before I can fix it. Apologies.)
Take it easy this week, friends. We’ll make it.
Comforting Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, cut in half and sliced if you choose not to puree the soup, chop the onion and watch the sweating time
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, sliced you may wish to split it first, and remove the germ if it's a little older
- ¼ cup dry red wine
- 1 cup Lentils du Puy, rinsed and picked over you can use another lentil variety, but it will change the texture of the soup
- 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- celery leaves whatever you get from the stalks. No worries if you don't have any
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika this is to taste. I actually use ½ teaspoon. If you use vegetable stock, you may want to use even more
- 1 ½ tbsp tomato paste
- 5-6 cups stock (beef or vegetable) bouillon is fine, but use less than is directed to keep things from getting to salty. If you use veggie stock, you might want to add more smoked paprika
- kosher salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, or cream, to serve
- In a heavy bottomed soup pot with lid (I use Le Creuset) over very low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, stir to coat. Then cover and sweat for 10 minutes. Check to make sure that the onion isn't browning
- Add the garlic, celery, and garlic. Salt generously, stir, and then cover again .Sweat for another 10 minutes or so, again, checking to make sure that things aren't browning or cooking too fast
- Remove cover. Add the wine, herbs, lentils, paprika, and generous grinds of black pepper. Stir, turn heat up to medium and let the wine cook off some. Then add the stock and tomato paste. Stir, and let come to a boil. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning (it will likely need salt)
- Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until the lentils can be mashed with the back of a spoon and the veggies are very soft. This depends on the lentils and the size of your veggies, but think 45 minutes to an hour
- Remove herbs. Puree the soup, using an immersion blender or blender
- To serve, return to a simmer and top with a dollop of crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, or a bit of cream, along with generous grinds of black pepper