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Tomato and Lentil Soup

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into ½ inch dice
  • 2 medium carrots cut into ½ inch dice
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low-sodium
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar (optional)


Procedures:

This comforting soup is easy to make for lunch or a mid-week meal. It is not only healthy, but guaranteed to warm you up on cold fall days.

Place a large, heavy bottomed saucepan on the stove over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the spices and cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils, then add the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, about 1 hour. Watch periodically and add water if necessary to thin the soup. Stir in the thyme leaves, taste and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Ladle the soup into a warmed bowl, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar (optional) and serve immediately.

Tip: Brown lentils work best for this recipe as they cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy. To prepare lentils before cooking, pick over and remove any shriveled lentils or debris then thoroughly rinse under running water.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

 
 
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