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lentil and vegetable soup

We had our temperature tick up ever so slightly today.

So, we headed outside this afternoon to take in the sun, breathe in some cool winter air and throw a Frisbee around.

As much as my children would love to be knee-deep in snow, I’m happy not to be shivering when I walk outside to get our mail.

Even at 61 degrees, I’m already dreaming about a garden brimming with vegetables and an array of herbs sprouting throughout the raised beds.  April can’t come soon enough to get into the garden and start planting.

Let me think for a minute.  I’m probably rushing things, aren’t I?

I have a funny feeling that sometime before I get my garden planted we’re going to  see more cold weather and more snow.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing after all.

In the meantime, let’s make some soup. This hearty winter lentil & vegetable soup  is a vegetarian recipe, but if your looking for a lentil soup with bacon in it, try this and if your looking for a lentil soup with smoked sausage, click here.

sauteing onions in olive oil

To get started, slice 2 medium onions into thin rings and mince 2 cloves of garlic.  Set your Dutch oven over medium heat and when it’s hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and  sauté for 3-4 minutes; then add the garlic and continue to  sauté for another minute or two.

adding mushrooms to onions Raise the heat to medium-high and then you’re ready to add the mushrooms.  Mine were quite large, so I quartered them.  If yours are smaller, just cut them in half.  I used one 10-ounce package of mushrooms.   Sauté them for about 4 minutes.

adding steamed lentils to the pot

Next, add the steamed lentils.  This is going to cut out a lot of cooking time, since the lentils have already been steamed, they’re tender and just need to be heated through.  Convenient, no?adding carrots and celery

Add 4 thinly sliced carrots and 3 ribs of chopped celery to the onion-lentil mixture.  Add the carton of vegetable broth1 cup of water, 2 tbsp of tomato paste, and 3/4 tsp of fresh thyme.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer with the cover on, about 20 minutes.vegetarian lentil soup

Remember to taste your soup and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper if it needs it.

I’m going to enjoy this soup this evening in fact with a nice baguette.

 

Hearty Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, cut thinly into rings

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 10-ounce package white mushrooms, cut in half or quartered if they are large

1 package steamed lentils from Trader Joes

4 carrots, thinly sliced

3 ribs of celery, chopped

1 carton vegetable broth

1 cup water

2 tbsp tomato paste

3/4 tsp dried thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add minced garlic and continue to saute another 1-2 minutes.  Raise heat to medium-high, adding mushrooms and stirring another 3-4 minutes.

Add lentils, carrots, celery, vegetable broth, water, tomato paste and dried thyme.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cover pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Taste soup and adjust seasonings with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves: 6-8

Kitchen Note:  A couple of parsnips, sliced would work beautifully in this soup.

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