Supper Tonight - Creamy Lentil Soup

Homemade Lentil Soup
Creamy and hearty lentil soup without cream.
Most days, I like to plan what I'm making for dinner. I like dreaming about it during the day. I don't even mind making a quick stop to the grocery store on my way home to pick up a couple of ingredients. That doesn't happen every day and in certainly didn't happen today.

Today, I got stuck at work late, hurried to get home, and didn't think about dinner until I was standing in my kitchen, hungry, and annoyed that I hadn't already planned something. Well, necessity isn't the mother of invention for nothing, so I raided my fridge and surveyed my options. While I munched on a piece of cheese stolen greedily from the deli drawer, it came to me. Lentil soup. I had these cute golden lentils and a handful vegetables that needed to be used up, so I set to work. Thirty minutes later, I was sitting down to a bowl of golden goodness.

Boozy Epicure's Creamy Lentil Soup

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 parsnip, diced
3 small (baby) potatoes, quartered
salt/pepper, to taste
1/2 cup lentils
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock
thyme sprig
bay leaf
splash of white wine vinegar (optional)

Put the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, celery and parsnip. Season with salt and pepper to get the vegetables sweating. After about 2 minutes, add the potatoes and continue to cook until the onions turn transluscent and the vegetables are beginning to soften.


Add 1/4 cup of lentils to the pot as well as the garlic and stir, cooking for just another minute or two before adding your stock and herbs. Bring to a boil them let simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the vegetables and lentils are softened.

Once your vegetables are soft, pull out your thyme sprig and bay leaf and puree (you can use a blender, but I think immersion/stick blenders are easier for this job). Using the stick blender means you get a creamy texture without cream, delicious and healthy. Once the soup is blended, check for seasoning. Here's another trick I use, if a food is tasting flat, before you add more salt, add a little acidity. When my soup was blended it needed just a little something so I added just a splash (a tsp?) of white wine vinegar. Voila, perked everything up without adding more salt to the dish.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish. I had some lovely squash seed oil that I used as well as parsley and croutons (I love croutons in soup).

What is great about a simple soup like this is that this recipe can be changed exactly to your taste. I used parsnips because I had one left over in my fridge, and while I used no meat in this recipe, adding bacon or ham would be delicious. Almost as good as my favorite lentil soup that is not pureed and includes mild and hot Italian sausage.

Happy Eating.

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