Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup

The weather has been pretty gray and cold for the past few days and I've found myself putting on my fuzzy warm socks as if it is still winter! I've been craving a good lentil soup and I think I've discovered my new favorite. I've made many variations of lentil soup in my lifetime. And honestly, I haven't really met a lentil soup that didn't like. But I think this one ranks among the top.

There's nothing like making a nice pot of soup on a Sunday afternoon and having it for lunch or a quick dinner during the week. I always add some kale or other green to the soup as I warm up my portion and sometimes I top it with a farm-fresh poached egg. A nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or a handful of freshly chopped herbs is always welcome, as well. Lentil soup of any variety is so nourishing, supplying everything you need to tackle a busy day, or just a cozy rainy day on the couch with your warm fuzzy socks on.

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup (makes a big pot of soup)

1 1/2 cups green lentils, preferably soaked overnight and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup short grain brown rice
6 cups vegetable broth or water
24 ounces crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 tablespoon dried basil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
sea salt
black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
fresh parsley, basil, or oregano for garnish (optional)
chopped greens, such as kale, chard or spinach (optional)

1. In a large soup pot over medium low heat, saute the chopped onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the chopped carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for a minute or two.

2. Add the rice and lentils to the pot, along with the broth (or water), tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves, and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Let cook about 30-40 minutes, or until the brown rice and lentils are cooked. Add more broth or water if soup becomes too thick.

3. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and stir in the balsamic vinegar. If you'd like to add some chopped greens, add them to the pot and let them wilt for just a minute or so. Serve with freshly chopped herbs sprinkled on top.

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1 comment:

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