Every Sunday I drive out to my parents house to spend time with them. I try to use the time wisely for laundry and homework but most the time I end up eating and napping with Grandma. I have learned that unless I come prepared with something from my own pantry, my dinner wont be as satisfying. Not to say that my parents don't cook well, quite the opposite actually. They're the best cooks I know! Always whipping up tamales and Chile verde or a big pan of enchiladas. (we are way too gringo to eat this much Mexican food) The meals aren't exactly meatless though so I know I have to bring something for myself to compliment whatever they've got going on. Anyway, I brought red lentils. I wanted soup. It's still pretty chilly outside and I think rainy March weather is perfect for good hearty soups. I knew my mom would have everything else I needed so I got to work.
Red Lentil Soup
What you'll need:
1 T. olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (I used about 10 baby carrots)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 C red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)
1 tsp. "poultry" seasoning (I found this amazing seasoning at smiths and its basically just rubbed sage, thyme, rosemary)
salt and pepper to taste
What you'll do:
Heat olive oil in a good sized pot on medium high heat and add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for about 5 minutes. I'm a firm believer that 90% of good soups should start this way. (mirepoix)
Add the rest of the ingredients. Lentils, broth, bay leaf, thyme, chili garlic sauce if using, "poultry" seasoning, salt and pepper.
Stir everything together, turn heat down to medium, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 or so minutes. Taste and season as you wish with more salt or pepper or any spices you see fit.
It magically turns into a creamy lentil delight. It is filling and good for you! It isn't the most attractive looking soup though...