A Good Lentil Soup
I love a good lentil soup, and I usually make lentils for New Year's, since folklore says that "lentils bring prosperity".
Lentil soup is easy to make.
It's not science, just a pot of vegetables, lentils and other stuff w/ about 5-6 cups of liquid.
What liquid to use?
You can use water, canned or boxed chicken stock, but to make the very best soup you must use homemade chicken stock.
Best made last winter and put away just for this purpose.
I always say it's like having money in the bank.
Here I used broccolini, a young tender, sweet broccoli (not broccoli rabe, which is bitter) and I will add it to my soup from now on.
Another good tip is to save the rinds from your Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The rinds stay in the fridge forever, and they make for a delicious soup.
and how about lentils? which kind should you use?
Well, I used to only use Lentilles du Puy from France, the blueish green lentils by Sabarot.
However, I can only find them online now, and I am not paying $9. shipping for an $8. box of lentils.......so instead, I have been buying domestic Zursun Black Beluga lentils from Idaho of all places! I LOVE THEM!
Since when did I become such a lentil expert? I like how that sounds, a "Lexpert".
You don't want to use red lentils (though I love them) in this soup, they are better in Middle Eastern recipes and are much softer than other lentils after being cooked.
Use this recipe as a guideline. I rarely have celery, so usually just put something else in the soup, like fennel or broccolini instead.
Spanish chorizo is a must for my lentil soup. I just use a small amount. It adds spice, texture and that umami that makes this lentil soup my favorite.
I also never add salt to my soup, because when I make my stock I add the salt in, but taste and see.
Do your thing.
A Good Lentil Soup:
1 cup of lentils, rinsed and dried (black beluga, or lentilles du Puy)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, diced up large
1 tsp cumin
3 celery stalks, sliced
bunch of broccolini (aka broccolette), cut up or (you can use broccoli florets)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
fresh thyme sprigs
fresh rosemary sprigs
1 stick of good quality Spanish chorizo (I remove the casing), cut into small pieces
6 cups of homemade chicken stock
Tie up the rosemary and thyme sprigs with some kitchen twine so you can remove them easily from the pot.
In a large heavy stock pot (I love my Le Creuset big guy), saute the carrots, chorizo, onions, garlic and celery in olive oil just until the onion is translucent, just a few minutes on medium heat.
Add in the cumin and swirl around another minute.
Add in the rinsed lentils and broccolini (if using) and the stock. Add in the herb bundle and bring soup to a boil.
Turn down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until the carrots and lentils are soft.
This is our favorite soup.