I know for some of you the weather is getting a bit too warm for a soup like this, but I wanted to sneak it in before the summer. It is one of my favorite soups. It has tons of fiber, tons of vegetables, and tons of flavor. I make it, freeze it, and then anytime I want to feel good about what I eat, I pull a bowl of it out my freezer and heat it up for lunch.
Though I changed this recipe so much that it is definitely my own now, my inspiration came from a book my friend Shannon gave me. It’s by America’s Test Kitchen and is called The New Best Recipe. It’s a fantastic cookbook, and I would recommend it for anyone who is a serious cook. My starting point for this lentil soup was their “hearty lentil soup.” I switched mine to vegetarian, and changed some other things around, but I couldn’t have made this good of a soup without the book.
Oh, and I just want to briefly mention that the toast in the picture there is from the same baguette I froze a couple weeks ago. All I did was pop the frozen pieces in the toaster.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus a large pinch
5-6 large carrots, peeled (if not organic), and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 14 ounce (400g) can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup (100g) lentils, rinsed and picked over
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (118mL) white wine or grape juice, whatever you have
4 cups (950mL) vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup (236mL) water
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Pour oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add in onions and a generous pinch of salt. Saute for a minute or two and add in carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for a minute more, stirring frequently to prevent burning, then add in thyme, tomatoes, lentils, a teaspoon salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Retrieve any thyme stems.
2. Pour in juice (or wine), stock and water. Increase heat to medium. Cover partially and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until onions are tender. Use an immersion blender and puree most of the soup. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, simply place 4-5 cups of the soup into a standard blender, puree, and return to the pot. Add in vinegar and parsley. Serve.