Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pebbles in the Pot - My Recipe Rotation - Lentil and Spinach Soup

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a brand new entry to my permanent rotation. I first prepared it last month and it made an encore performance two weeks ago. If you like lentils, and I do realize that for many of you that is a big if, I think you'll find the recipe for this simple pantry soup to be a keeper. The soup is inexpensive to make and can be quickly prepared. It's substantial enough for a light supper and it is delicious. Here's what I had to say when it first appeared on the blog.

Now that it's cooler, I've started to think about soups and stews again. I clipped some recipes this summer and I've been waiting to to give this lentil and spinach soup a try. Well, the weather broke two days ago, and along with cooler temperatures there was a downpour that kept me housebound long enough to test the recipe for this simple pantry soup. Having made it, I think those of you who try it will like it as much as we did, and end up adding the recipe to your regular rotation. This is a simple pantry soup and chances are you already have the ingredients you need to make it on hand. Despite its lack of meat, the soup is substantial enough to serve for supper. Freshly made, this is a thick soup, but like most soups made with legumes it becomes stew-like as the lentils sit and soak up the liquid in the pot. That can be remedied by adding additional stock or water as needed. Years ago, I would never dream of serving soup for dinner, but I've relaxed my standards in retirement. These days, I add freshly made bread and a seasonal salad to the table and call it supper. I do hope you'll give this soup a try. It is jam-packed with vegetables and it is delicious. Here is how it is made.

Lentil and Spinach Soup...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home magazine

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion coarsely chopped
3 carrots peeled and cut in 1/2-ich dice
3 Idaho potatoes peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 cups dry lentils (green or brown), rinsed
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes or 1-lb. Roma tomatoes seeded and diced
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt + salt to taste, divided use
4-5 oz. spinach coarsely chopped

1) Heat oil in a 6-quart soup pot. When it shimmers, add onions and carrots and saute for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables soften and the onion becomes translucent.
2) Stir garlic, cumin, paprika and salt into pot. Continue cooking until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
3) Add potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, vegetable stock and water to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and cook for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Remove pot from heat.
4) Stir in spinach, cover pan and let sit for 3 minutes longer, stirring once or twice. Salt to taste. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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