Thursday, March 5, 2009

Italian Lentil Soup

This is an easy recipe and a great vehicle for root vegetables--plus some of the greens starting to become available again. I often make it in the slow cooker, but it does just fine on the stove top, too. The quantities are very flexible and forgiving, so work with whatever you've got on hand. You can always add or substitute potatoes, turnips, or whatever else you like.

3 cups brown lentils
3 cups or so canned or frozen tomatoes, chopped
1-2 cups diced celeriac
2 large carrots, in 1/4-inch rounds
1 large onion, chopped
10-12 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp salt, plus more to taste
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
3-4 cups coarsely chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard--whatever)
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients except for the greens and vinegar in the slow cooker or a large soup pot. Add water to generously cover. In the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. On the stove, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for 45-60 minutes.

At the end of the cooking period, add the greens and cook until wilted. Stir in the vinegar, then taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Serves at least 6.

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