Whew! My life has been off to crazytown lately. Cooking has not been on the priority list. Actually, that’s not true. It’s just that cooking has become very very simple of late. Here’s hoping that changes soon because I’m a lot happier when I’m trying new recipes and playing in the kitchen.
Which brings me to my soon-to-be “new” kitchen. We recently purchased a townhouse near Boulder and the kitchen is oh so sad. An electric range from the late 90’s!! Horrors! A new induction range is coming (not soon enough for me). Until then, I must soldier on with a poor excuse for a stove.
Thing about soup, it’s easy to cook in one pot and an electric range is good enough. This recipe is adapted from the New York Times. The original is vegetarian. Mine is not, though you could leave out the bacon and it would still be darn good. But, I love bacon as a flavoring in bean soup. This is a very hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup.
Lentil Tomato Soup
(serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as an appetizer)
2 slices thick bacon, chopped
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
5 cups water
leaves from 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for garnish
Heat up a soup pot on medium heat. Add bacon and oil. Cook until bacon renders out fat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook for another minute. Add in tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and lentils. Stir to combine. Add in water, thyme leaves, and bay leaf. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover partially and cook for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf. Stir in red wine vinegar and parsley. Taste; add more salt and pepper according to your taste. Serve garnished with grated cheese.
Even better the next day (as is true with so many soups and stews).
Adapted from Lentil Tomato Soup by Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times.