Monday, 20 July 2009

Summer Vegetable & Lentil Soup

It's a funny summer when you need a nice bowl of hot soup to keep warm. However, it's lovely to have such a large selection of vegetables to go into soup.

If the weather was warmer, I would probably have cooked the lentils in the rice cooker, which can be put out on a deck or balcony to keep the kitchen from getting too hot (but for heavens sake, don't let it rain on it,) then the cooking of the vegetables and the soup would not take that long inside.

I had some good de Puy lentils from Grassroots Organics, which make a rather murky but delicious lentil soup.

12 servings
1 hour prep time

Summer Vegetable and Lentil Soup
1 1/2 cups dry lentils
1 medium potato, cut in dice
2 or 3 bay leaves
12 cups water
2 cups diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)

2 or 3 stalks of celery
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 tablespoons sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Korean red chile
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon savory
salt & pepper to taste

2 cups diced green or yellow wax beans
1 medium zucchini
2 or 3 cups prepared spinach leaves or chopped chard

Cook the lentils in the water with the bay leaf and the potato, cut in small dice. Add the tomatoes once they are mostly tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, wash and chop the celery, peel and chop the onion, and peel and dice the carrot. Sauté them all in the oil until soft, and add the seasonings. Stir to mix well, cook for a minute or two longer, then add the vegetables to the soup.

Top and tail the beans, and dice them, ditto the zucchini. Add them to the soup to simmer until tender.

Clean the spinach or chard, and chop it coarsely if large. Add it just before serving the soup, and cook until just limp. If the soup is too thick, add some more water.

Last year at this time I made Kohlrabi & Turnips Sautéed in Butter, Stinky Meat, and Canned (Bottled) Cherries.

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