I won’t like to go out to lunch. I prefer to make something interesting on the weekend and eat at my desk. We have a central lunch room but I usually just microwave something and bring it back to my desk. Since G doesn’t eat meat, I usually can indulge during lunch.
It was rainy, windy and wet on Sunday. I didn’t really want to go to the store so I dug around through the pantry to come up with something that I could make. Ah hah! Lentils. I had some left over vegetable broth from last weekend’s risotto plus the classic mirepoix ingredients (carrots, celery and onion). Perfect. Lentil soup.
Cruising around on Epicurious to see if there was anything different. There really was not but I did find this recipe for French Lentil Soup which used exactly what I had in the house. I decided to make a 1/2 batch and add a bit of spices to the soup – a bit of bay leaf and fresh thyme. It was done in less than an hour and now I have a couple of days of lunch.
French Lentil Soup
3 tablespoons extra–virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery stalks plus chopped celery
leaves for garnish
1 cup chopped carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils, rinsed, drained
1 14 1/2–ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, lentils, and tomatoes with juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium–low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
Transfer 2 cups soup (mostly solids) to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to soup in pan; thin soup with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if too thick. Season with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with celery leaves.
Note: – I added a 1/2 bay leaf and a sprig of thyme. I also added an additional cup of water since my lentils were rather old and needed to cook more. I definitely recommend to puree 1/2 of the soup to give it a better texture.