Monday, February 13, 2012

Lentil soup

I've been wanting a good lentil soup recipe, so I was excited when a friend of mine sent me this one she has just made by Giada De Laurentiis. I made it a few days ago, and we really liked it. This is a very easy recipe as well as a healthy one! I adapted it a little by adding some extra herbs/seasoning and extra carrots, and was very happy with the flavor. My husband and toddler also loved it, and it made a lot so we enjoyed it at lunch for two days afterwards. This would also be a good recipe to freeze in batches for the future. I served this with a new bread recipe I'll be posting in the next couple of days, and it was a wonderful combination!

Lentil Soup
Original Recipe here courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

  • I N G R E D I E N T S :
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper- recipe does not give exact amounts, so I generously sprinkled some of both over the soup.
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pound lentils (approximately 1 1/4 cups)
  • 12 cups low-salt chicken broth (3 32-ounce containers, or homemade)
  • 5 chicken bouillon cubes (I know, I know-these are terrible for you. But I felt like it needed the extra flavor because I used low sodium broth and thought it tasted rather bland. 5 cubes sounds like a lot but keep in mind that there are 12 cups of broth. If you want the extra flavor, just add to taste.)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground thyme (original recipe calls for 4 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs but I didn't have fresh thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2/3 cup dried elbow pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan

D I R E C T I O N S :
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. 
Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. 
Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. 
Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and stir. Add the thyme. 
Bring to a boil over high heat. 
Add bouillon cubes (if using), garlic powder, and onion powder. 
Cover and simmer over low heat until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. 
Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add dried parsley.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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