It was a few days ago when Penny asked me to list the three ingredients that I always have handy. “Lentils, eggs and some sort of green”. I love all legumes. Love. Particularly lentils. Funny thing as one of my earliest childhood memories revolves around my mom sitting in front of me and a plate of lentils that I wouldn’t finish.
It has now became a staple in my weekly repertoire of meals. There are variations depending on what vegetables I have that day, but there is usually some chorizo in it.
“Can I have brown soup for lunch?”, J. asks. He has turned into a particular picky eater this year, but lentil soup or “brown soup” as he calls it is still one of his favorites with grilled cheese sandwich triangles.
It is one of my favorite leftover foods too. A drizzle of olive oil and some bread and I’m set.
This time of year, I cook hearty soups to keep us energized and warm. The abundance of root vegetables is perfect for this recipe. Lentils, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes… Anything goes.
Lentil and Root Vegetable Soup
Makes 8 servings
3 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 turnip, diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
¼ red kuri squash, peeled and diced
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 chorizo, sliced
1 qt chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup French lentils or any other kind you like
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 springs of thyme
Rinse the lentils and cover them with water. Let them soak for about 4 hours. It’s not completely necessary but I find that they cook faster and are better for digestion.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and cook them for about 5 minutes. We don’t want to caramelize them, just sweat them.
Add the tomato paste, chorizo and rest of vegetable and cook them for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, water, thyme, lentils, pepper and salt. Stir and bring this to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let the lentils cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve with your favorite gluten-free (or not) bread, cheese toast or plain.