Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lentil Soup

With the cooler weather that's recently hit the area, we've begun to accept the fact that fall is here to stay and winter is not too far off. I recently broke out a couple of scarves and last weekend even wore my gloves! Its also fun to watch all of the undergrads break out their brand new fall wardrobes that you can tell they've been just itching to wear. Last week when it was a "chilly" sixty degrees I witnessed a girl all dolled up with a wool jacket, fedora (tilted just so on her head) and red leather gloves that went halfway up her forearms--she looked as if she had stepped out of a magazine, except she also seemed to be overheating in her getup.

This change in weather and wardrobe also means a change in food--we want warm and comforting food that also really easy to prepare, and most importantly quick. Soup is the natural thing to turn to, but canned soup always leaves something to be desired. Homemade soup is really easy to make and it can be frozen for later.

We've begun bookmarking soup recipes right and left to make and freeze and we tried a delicious new, super-easy lentil soup this week. It took almost no time and consisted of easy ingredients that we almost always have on-hand. The really great thing is that its very filling and full of flavor despite the small ingredient list so it can easily be a full meal.

Red Lentil Soup
from 101 Cookbooks

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water), preferably low sodium
1 1/3 cup red lentils,  rinsed (and checked for stones)
1/2 cup brown rice,  rinsed
salt to taste (preferably sea salt)

In a large pot, combine the olive oil, onion, shallots and red pepper flakes. Stir occasionally over medium head until brown and slightly caramelized. 
Stir in the broth, bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and rice. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is very tender.  At this point the lentils should be thick. You may need to add more water/broth, but do so in small increments (splashes) until the soup thins out.
As long as you used a low sodium broth, you should salt to taste with sea salt or kosher salt.
 Serve each bowl topped with feta and a drizzle of olive oil.

NOTE: We topped our soup with feta and olive oil, but on 101cookbooks she suggests almonds and olives as well. Feel free to try other combinations! This soup freezes wonderfully.


  1. Hi Elizabeth, this looks great - I want to make it, I like lentil soup but it's usually so time consuming. So the lentils are just rinsed, not soaked first?

    PS - really enjoying your blog!

  2. okay, bombarding you with comments (here and on facebook). but! i made this recipe about a week ago, and was surprised by how delicious it turned out (especially in conjunction with its simple execution). however, a word to the wise: don't use purple rice in recipes, unless you want everything to come out a deep, murky, royal color... ha.