Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lentil Soup

Sunday Soup

If you're looking for a quick, one pot, healthful meal, this is it. This is a really delicious soup that is filled to the brim with goodness. It is also a great recipe to have on hand when trying to use pantry items such as dried herbs, lentils and rice. I love the balsamic vinegar and bacon in this soup; they really enhance the flavor. The recipe calls for brown rice, but if you only have white rice on hand, you can substitute it; just add it in the last 20 minutes instead of at the beginning. You can also omit the rice altogether if you want a more "soupy" soup. The lentils will thicken as they cook.

This makes a lot of soup, about 12 1-cup servings. You may want to half the recipe if you are feeding fewer people and don't want to be eating on it for a whole week straight. You could also make the whole recipe and freeze half of it for an even quicker weeknight meal.

8 cups beef stock
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 (28-oz.) can tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 1/2 cups lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/tsp. fennel seed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1-2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

grated parmesan cheese

Bring broth to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Add bacon and next 12 ingredients; stir well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients. Discard bay leaves before serving. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

NOTES:This is a meatless soup but it would also be great with either browned hamburger or Italian Sausage, cooked and crumbled. If you choose to add the sausage, I would omit the fennel seed as it may be overpowering.

SOURCE:Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

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