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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mushroom Lentil Soup


You are going to get a lot of soups from me for awhile.  In the fall and winter (which basically last until May here in New England), I love to make a big pot of soup on the weekend, and bring it for lunch during the week.   And who doesn't love soup on a cold day?  Well that weather is here for sure.  Last week, I made this chicken escarole soup - an Italian wedding soup without the meatballs - because I had a terrible cold which required the healing power of homemade chicken stock.  Well today, we woke up to the patter of raindrops on the air conditioning still hanging out of our windows - which is quite possibly one of the most relaxing sounds in the world - but unfortunate when you had planned to go to an outdoor pumpkin festival.  It rained all morning - that cold, chill-you-to-the-bone fall rain.  So since we weren't going pumpkin picking anymore, I decided to make this soup.  It's basically a mushroom barley soup with lentils instead of barley.  It is easy to throw together and truly delicious, healthy, and comforting.  It has thyme, which is my favorite herb to put in soup.  I always put it in with the vegetables because as soon as it hits the hot pan, I am transported to heaven.  If this happens to you as well, enjoy your trip.

Mushroom Lentil Soup
makes 6-8 servings

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
8 oz chopped mushrooms (you can use any type -  used baby bellas today)
1 heaping cup of brown or French lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 cup chopped tomatoes with their juices
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 cups low sodium beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
5 oz. baby spinach, torn or chopped

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrot, and thyme and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent.  Add the mushroom and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until the mushroom have released all of their moisture.  Add the lentils, broths, tomatoes, and red wine and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a low boil or simmer and cook for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked.  When the lentils are cooked, add the spinach and cook for a minute or two more until the spinach is cooked.  Serve with a sprinkle of romano cheese and some crusty bread and enjoy!

 Excuse my filthy stove...the consequences of cooking




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