Saturday, September 15, 2007

Esau's Lentil Soup with Meatballs

Esau's Lentil Soup with Meat Balls
From Cucina Ebraica

Prep time: 15 minutes
Soak the lentils: 2 hours or use canned lentils, drained
Simmer time: 1-2 hours

Serves: 8

2 cups dried green lentils or 2 cans (14 oz/), drained
3 large onions
2 carrots, peeled
2 celery stalks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 (19oz/540ml) can of crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
4-6 cups chicken broth
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Soak dried lentils in water for 2-3 hours or overnight. Make sure the lentils are covered by at least 1” of water. If you’re using canned lentils, just drain and rinse.

2. Finely chop the carrots, then celery, then onions in a food processor.

3. Sauté the carrots, celery and onions in olive oil in a large Dutch oven for 5 minutes over medium heat or until the carrots start to soften. Add the tomatoes and enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables and lentils by 2”. Start with 4 cups. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low until the lentils are tender (anywhere from 2 hours for dried lentils to 20 minutes for canned.)

4. If you’re making the meatballs, combine all the ingredients and form small balls.

5. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and sauté the meatballs over medium-high heat until they are brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pan or the meatballs will steam rather than crisp on the outside. The crusty coating will keep the meatballs from falling apart in the soup.

6. Once the meatballs are cooked and the lentils are softened, add the meatballs to the soup. Cover and continue to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

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