Sherried Lentil Soup
Monday, January 24, 2011
It’s -22 degrees….that’s NEGATIVE 22. That’s really cold…even for where I live!! Couple the mind numbing chill with my discovery of an initiative called “Meatless Monday” and it seems that I have the perfect inspiration to whip up a soup!!
Meatless Monday is pretty much what is sounds like…the one day of the week you can commit to eating no meat all day. No bacon for breakfast, no turkey on rye for lunch and no chicken stir fry for dinner. This actually presents a great opportunity to be adventurous and be healthy. Of course, you could decide to eat cheese pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner….but why not embrace the challenge?
I happen to enjoy lentils. Perhaps this is the result of having watched too many episodes of The Young Ones on MTV (Neil, a main (vegetarian) character, was often seen waxing poetic about his love of lentils…and in particular..the humble lentil soup). My husband, on the other hand, is not so fond of the diminutive legume, so I am always trying to find ways to entice him to give them just one more try. I finally created a palate pleasing lentil soup that he actually gets excited about when he knows I am making it. (OK, excited is a stretch…).
This lentil soup recipe uses some of my favorite ingredients including tarragon (which should be used very judiciously), bay leaves (also a tricky herb), and (the secret ingredient) Amontillado sherry. Serve it with warm whole grain bread…YUM…and perfect for a (FREEZING) meatless Monday!
Sherried Lentil SoupVegan – Makes 6 servings
About 90 minutes prep/cooking time4 – TBSP Olive oil1 – onion, chopped4 – cloves garlic, minced3 – Stalks celery, diced¾ – cup carrot, diced
2/3 – cup mushrooms, dicedGrated peel of 1 orange (about 1 Tbsp.)½ – cup Amontillado Sherry (I have also used marsala in this recipe…equally yummy)1 ½ cups dried lentils, rinsed and sorted1 – 28 OZ can organic diced tomatoes (preferably low sodium or unsalted) (do not drain)1 – 32 Oz. container organic veggie broth (preferably low sodium or unsalted)1-2 bay leaves (preferably fresh)1 ½ cup Yukon gold potatoes, diced2 – TBSP Fresh Tarragon, minced (or 2 tsp. dried)2 TBSP Balsamic vinegarKosher saltPepper1 – 5 ounce package organic baby spinach (fresh, not frozen)Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. Add orange peel and cook for 3 minutes. Add sherry and lentils and cook for 5 minutes, or until sherry is absorbed. Add tomatoes (with juice), veggie broth and bay leaves cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Add potatoes and tarragon and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Add vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat off add spinach, cover and let sit ‘til spinach wilts (about 5 minutes). Serve with warm whole grain bread.
Sherried Lentil Soup
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