When you're snowed in, what's better than a steamy hot bowl of lentil soup? I love Ina Garten's salmon with lentils from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook. I used that recipe as the basis for this soup. All the proportions here are rough--you can add or subtract according to your taste. Lentils absorb a lot of liquid so you may need to add more. If you like your soup more like stew, you can use less liquid, and if you like really thick soup, you can puree some if it with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. I like extra tartness, so I usually finish with a little extra vinegar--you can do that to your taste. —drbabs
a large pot of soup
small green lentils, rinsed and picked over
large sweet onions, chopped fine
leeks, chopped, white and light green parts only
cloves garlic, finely minced
carrots, chopped fine
stalks celery, chopped fine
14 ounce can tomatoes, broken up with your fingers, and including liquid
fresh thyme leaves (or 3-4 sprigs of thyme that you can remove later)
vegetable broth, plus more as needed
up to a cup of water as needed
dry white wine
large potatoes, peeled and diced
spinach, chard or collards, stemmed and roughly chopped
sherry or red wine vinegar plus more for finishing
Heat oil in Dutch oven. Add onions, leeks, celery, carrots, and kosher salt, and saute till onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
Stir in tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add lentils, potatoes, wine, vegetable stock and water, bay leaves, cayenne and thyme. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Cook, covered, till lentils are soft and potatoes are cooked through. (You may need to add more water, wine or stock.) Stir in spinach and let it simmer till wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Remove the bay leaves.
If you like, puree some of the soup (about 2 cups) in a blender or with an immersion blender to get a thick creamy consistency. Stir in vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve with extra vinegar, salt and pepper to use as desired.