Monday, January 26, 2009

My Own Mellow Lentil Soup

My Own Mellow Lentil Soup
From Every Kitchen Tells Its Stories

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2-3 hours (1 hour without the meat)
Serves 8-10Freezes well

2 lbs/ 1 kg flanken (beef short ribs) (this time I left it out)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cups/1 litre beef broth (or vegetable broth if you like)
8 cups/2 litres of water
1 lb green lentils, washed in strainer (pick out any stones)
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs or 1-2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice (when serving – optional)

1. If making a meat version, sear flanken in Dutch oven or large soup pot on medium high heat. Remove from the pot and set aside.

2. To finely chop the vegetables, I use a food processor. Chop each type separately so they come out the same consistency.

3. Saute onions and carrots until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Return the meat to the pot if making the meat version.

4. Add liquid and bring to a boil over high heat.

5. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes.

6. Add tomato, lentils and seasonings.

7. Remove bay leaf after 15 minutes.

8. Cover and simmer for at least one hour for vegetarian version, 2 hours, if you’re using meat, stirring occasionally and remove thyme sprigs once they shed their leaves.

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