Monday, October 17, 2011

Fresh Tomato, Lentil, and Onion Soup

 This is a quick, healthy, and dependable soup. This is one of my favorites and it's popular with everyone in my household. The herbs de Provence are key to the flavor, so if you don't have in any in your kitchen I wouldn't try to replace it. This soup is great for chilly nights with warm crusty bread and a green salad.

Tomato, Lentil, and Onion Soup
-The Cook's Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking

Here's the picture from my cookbook. For once, the soup actually turns out just as the picture shows it :)
1 large onion, chopped
3 or 4 celery ribs, chopped
3/4 to 1 C split red lentils (dry)
2 large tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
33/4 C vegetable stock
2 tsp herbs de Provence (don't skimp!)
salt and pepper to taste

First heat some olive oil in a large soup pot and saute the onions and celery for about five minutes over medium heat. When the vegetables begin to get tender and aromatic, add the lentils and cook for one minute more. Add the tomatoes, stock, herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Cover the pot, bring it t a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender, stirring as needed.

Allow the soup to cool a bit, and then it's time to puree! If you have an immersion blender this is a perfect time to use it (and if you don't, this is a perfect reason to buy one...they're AMAZING). If not, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender. Process the soup until it reaches a consistency that appeals to you - I go until there are no large tomato or onion chunks but there is still a little bit of texture.

Serve the soup in a pretty bowl and garnish with parsley for a beautiful display.

About the immersion blender - I absolutely love this little tool that my father bought a couple of years ago. This is the one I have: KitchenAid Immersion Blender
There are tons on the market though and  it's definitely worth looking into. They are easy to clean and perfect for mixing and pureeing pretty much anything.

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