03 February 2011

Not much of a blizzard

OK, well, Snow-pocalypse 2011 was a non-starter. We did get some snow, but only about 6 or 8 inches.

I got a snow day, though, because although the office wasn't closed, we live on a class 3 road. That means that, tough the snow fell on Tuesday night, we won't be plowed until Friday sometime.

On the other hand, we think there have probably been enough 4-wheel drives and macho trucks up and down our road to make it possible to get to a plowed road and off to work this morning.

But it was only a sort of a snow day ... I was ready to leave for work until about 3pm, when I realized that even if the roads were cleared, it would be pointless to show up as most people who made it in were leaving.

So, about 3pm, I decided to start dinner. It turned out really well, so I thought I'd share the recipe. (I adapted it from a Cooks Illustrated recipe.) We can all use more grain free, filling recipes, right?.)

Italian Lentil Soup

Soak 1 cup of mixed lentils (I used brown lentils, lentils du puy, and red lentils) for a couple of days in clean water to immerses all of them. (I change the water every six hours or so, but I know a lot of people never change the water.)

Warm some olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot and add 1 medium chopped onion, three cloves of minced garlic, three stalks of chopped celery, and two or three bay leaves. Saute them gently until they're mushy.

Add three chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped rutabaga, 1/2 cup chopped parsnip, 1/2 cup chopped turnip and the lentils (drained). If you have a Parmesan rind, add it to the soup pot now.

Cover with vegetable broth, and let simmer until the vegetables start to soften.

(Make sure to keep the heat low--you just want them to simmer. Lentils cooked at a hard boil explode as soon as they're cooked, making something that more closely resembled lentil paste than lentil soup. You probably knew that, I just learned it.)

Add 1/2 chopped celeriac, 3-6 stems (a tablespoon or so) of thyme, and 2 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock, if you prefer--mushroom would be yummy!).

Only after the lentil have softened, add 1 pint of tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and a couple of large handfuls of spinach.

Once the spinach has wilted and warmed through, you have soup.

I added garlic powder and hot sauce at the table. It it was pretty good before I added them and fantastic after.


  1. That sounds fabulous!!!

    I am curious if the red lentils were organic, and, if they were, where you found them. Organic red lentils vanished from my world a few months ago (though when I emailed Arrowhead Mills, they said that they will have them in stock again very soon).

    By the way, I've never cooked a red lentil and *not* had it disintegrate. I think it's just what red lentils do during cooking, at any temperature. For whatever that's worth.

    Anyway, that recipe looks yummy!

  2. I never knew you were supposed to soak lentils. We all have gas problems after lentils. Perhaps if I soaked them we would not have that problem. Worth a shot since I love lentils.


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