Last week I came home and had nothing really planned or available for dinner. Since I have a pretty well stocked kitchen with dry legumes, canned stuff, spices, and the basics for produce (onion, garlic, carrot, celery), I decided to make a lentil salad. I found one recipe that suggested boiling the lentils in broth instead of water, which I started to do. Then I went to start chopping the carrots, onion, celery, etc., and I realized- I'm making soup.
So soup, it was (100+ degree day notwithstanding), it was good too! I kept it very simple, which despite my love of complicated recipes and flavors, is sometimes not only necessary but a really welcome change. A few basic ingredients let their individual flavors stand out a bit more. Here's the recipe:
1.5 c green lentils, well rinsed
5c broth (I use Better Than Bouillon not Chicken veg broth), more if needed
1 c water (could add more liquid if you like)
4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 t marjoram
1t ground black pepper
salt to taste (that recommended broth is pretty salty, you don't need to add much salt)
Boil the lentils in 2-3 c broth. Chop all veg, and put carrots, celery and onion in the oil in a stockpot. Sautee until they're soft but still somewhat firm (onions will be getting translucent). Add garlic and tomatoes until tomatoes start to soften. Pour the lentils and broth in with the onions and others. Add remaining broth, water and spices. Cook for 20-30 minutes until lentils are soft (being careful not to go too long and let them get mushy). Salt to taste, serve with crackers or bread.