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Monday, November 17, 2008

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup
We lived on this when Chris was in Graduate school. Now we have it once a week and I usually serve it with a hearty Italian bread. This would be considered an Italian Jewish recipe. I have come to believe that wherever Jews have settled they have created a rich and diverse menu in order to meet the needs of their religious holidays.
1 bag lentils
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves crushed & minced
3 celery ribs sliced or diced
2 carrots sliced or diced
1 potato peeled and diced
olive oil
1/3 cup white or red wine
salt & pepper
1 can (28-32 oz.) of crushed tomatoes OR better yet some left over tomato sauce!
bay leaf
red pepper flakes
sauté the onion, celery, potato, and carrot in oil until soft
add garlic and sauté (this is known as a Soffritto)
Add wine and cook off for 2-3 minutes
add lentils and enough water to cover by a few inches
add salt and pepper, bay leaf, red pepper, and parsley
cover and simmer for an hour (until beans are cooked)
Add tomatoes and cook on low as long as you like!

This can be as thick like a stew or thin like a soup as you like simply by adjusting the amount of water.
After sautéing veggies add to crock pot along with water and tomatoes and cook on low all day for a thick stew!
Use left over spaghetti sauce instead of tomatoes
Use Italian seasoning instead of parsley
Use Herbs Provence instead of parsley and add some leeks to the veggie mix

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