Winter Lentil & Vegetable Soup
This recipe is a classic I go back to year-after-year during the winter. It’s easy and usually I have the ingredients on hand. However, if I don’t, it’s easy to substitute some vegetables for others. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what to substitute, but if you try something really interesting, please leave a comment so that other readers may use your great idea.
1 T. oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 t. dried Italian herb seasoning (or 1/2 t. each basil and oregano)
1/4 t. each salt and pepper
4 C. stock (vegetable or otherwise)
1/2 C. green lentils
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 C. each frozen peas and corn kernals
2 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1/2 C. shredded cheddar or grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 T. minced fresh parsley, or 2 t. dried (If it’s winter and all you have.)
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Fry onion, garlic, and celery until the onion is softened. Add herbs, salt and pepper, and potatoes. Add stock and green lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add carrot, peas, corn and tomato paste. Simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Garnish with cheese (if desired.)
Makes 4-6 servings
A note about soups: Soup making is an art, not a science. Always taste the soup before serving. You may need to add more salt, depending on your taste and what kind of broth you used. You also may want to add other things. If a tomato-based soup is too acidic, add a little honey or brown sugar. If it’s bland, add some more herbs or pepper. “To taste” really means just that–fiddle around until the soup has a taste you like.