Fall Lentil & Beet Green Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1-2 hours
Serves 8 Freezes well
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
4 small young carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
½ bulb fennel root, chopped (about ½ cup)
2-3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme sprigs or 1-2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 small sprig fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
1 bunch young beet greens,
1 bay leaf
1 cup green lentils, washed in strainer (pick out any stones)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
28oz/796ml diced tomatoes and their juice
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup balsamic apple cider vinegar
1. Prepare the beet greens: rinse all the sand off, dry well and remove the stems. Set the leaves aside and chop the stems. Keep the leaves separate from the stems. They only need a short time to cook. Chop the leaves coarsely and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onions, fennel, beet stems and carrots until the vegetables are soft and the onions, translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and toss. Cook another 2 minutes or until the herbs give off their fragrant aroma.
2. Add lentils, broth and tomatoes with juice and bring to a rolling simmer.
3. Reduce heat to low and add the chopped beet greens. Cook slowly, covered for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the sprigs and bay leaf. Add the balsamic apple cider vinegar and taste for seasoning.