You know how we feel about lentils around here… OR, if you’re new and you don’t, I’d like to send you here first before you then do a search on lentils and see how ridiculously fond we are of this little protein and fiber packed cheap meal makin’ legume. Lately our weather has been driving my food cravings and after our recent spate of unseasonably warm weather (leading to Cold Sesame Noodle perfection), we’ve had a predictably unpredictable Mid-Atlantic weather shift to slightly cooler than average with rain – lots and lots of rain. Not much better remedy for wet and damp days than soup.
And so we turn to our humble pantry staple, the lentil. This soup is great because it doesn’t require that much in terms of super fresh food, but packs a nutritious and flavorful punch. I found it on Dr. Weil’s site after doing some basic searching for soups. He apparently got it somewhere else. I’ve done a little tinkering – out of necessity rather than critique. I’d encourage you to do the same. Soup can be very forgiving and is a great place to use up veggies that are on the verge of being unusable.
Lentil, Mushroom, and Sweet Potato Soup (GF,V)
- olive oil for the pot
- 1 1/2 c rough chopped onion
- sprinkle salt
- 2 cloves rough cut garlic
- 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (I used cremini, but I think any mushroom would be lovely)
- 8 cups liquid (I used half veggie stock, and half water)
- 1 1/2 c lentils (I mixed French and brown)
- 3 cups cubed sweet potato
- 1 c chopped celery
- 2 T chopped fresh rosemary (or 2 t dried)
- 2 t minced fresh thyme (or 2/3 t thyme)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 1 T Bragg’s or soy sauce (opt)
- 2 c fresh tomatoes, rough cut (you could sub canned, but fresh is wonderful here)
- 1/4 c red wine
- loose chopped fresh greens of your choice
I’ve indicated rough cut here for most of the slicing, but the truth is that I usually cut to the preference of MPP (Ms. Picky Pants) as a few extra chops can sometimes make the difference. Your call. Warm the oil in a soup pot over low-medium heat. Add onions and a sprinkle of salt and allow to cook slowly until at least translucent. Add garlic and cook a short time longer. I confess I let my onions go a good while as I did my chopping while they were cooking. I think this helps a lovely flavor to develop and recommend it if you have time. When onions are done to your liking, add mushrooms and continue to cook down a bit to let mushrooms release a little water. Add next 8 ingredients (all but tomatoes, greens, and wine).
Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for at least 20 minutes. Flavor will develop with longer simmering, but lentils may “explode” if cooked too long at rolling boil. Watch your temp and test lentils for your personal lentil preference. When lentils have reached legume-y perfection, add tomatoes and wine. Stir and cook just a few minutes to warm. Serve over fresh greens in soup bowls and stir to wilt greens. Delish, nutrish, and just the thing for crappy, damp days. Enjoy!