Genève’s Kitchen

Genève’s Kitchen header image 2

A Cheap and Easy Saturday Night

April 15th, 2006 · 1 Comment

A cool overcast day calls for a warm and comforting meal. I have just the thing to suit that craving and best of all, it’s cheap and easy: warm, delicious, lentil soup.

I got this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network and loved the simplicity of the dish but had to try it for myself to see if it actually measured up in taste.

I made some adjustments to the recipe – I added a rind of parmesan cheese (something I’ve learned from Giada, incidentally). I also cut back on the broth and added more water instead. I used fire roasted crushed tomatoes in place of diced both for the smoky flavor that the fire roasted tomatoes impart to the soup and also because I love the texture that crushed tomatoes add. And finally, I added a little bit of tomato paste to add a little more sweet tomato flavor.

I served this soup with some grated parmesan cheese atop and of course some fresh baked bread that I picked up at the Italian market around the corner. I also brought out some Italian butter that I purchased last weekend at a specialty food store. I’d been waiting for a special occasion such as this to debut this delicious import! I have to say the cool sweet butter on the warm crusty bread was the perfect accompaniment to the deep rich spiciness of the lentil soup.

There are not a lot of ingredients in this dish and the beauty of soups is that once everything makes its way into the pot you’ve got a great meal waiting for you! Soups also have the advantage of improving with time – I can’t wait to try this soup tomorrow for lunch with another hunk of crusty bread!

Here’s the recipe with my alterations:

Green Lentil Soup with Thyme

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium yellow onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Carrots
2 Stalks of celery
1 14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/3 C green lentils
1 Qt. (32 oz) Low sodium chicken broth (try to find organic, free range)
Small handful of fresh thyme
2/3 Cup small tube-like pasta (I used some pasta I had in my cupboard which worked well called ‘Ditali Lisci’)
4 C water
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Rind of parmesan cheese (this is not imperative here but adds a great dimension to soups, start saving the rinds from parmesan cheese and store in freezer for such occasions)
Grated parmesan cheese to top soup

1) In a large pot begin heating the olive oil (medium heat)
2) Chop the garlic, onion, carrots, celery stalks and add to the pot – stir occasionally
3) When the onions look translucent and the carrots and celery have had a chance to lose their raw flavor (5-8 minutes), add the can of fire roasted tomatoes and stir. Then add the lentils and stir again.
4) Add the chicken broth and water.
5) At this point season with salt and pepper (start with a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and then taste later on and adjust to your liking).
6) Add the thyme and rind of parmesan – when soup comes to a boil turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer with the lid on for half an hour.
7) Add the pasta about 10 minutes before serving to allow time for pasta to cook and again check the flavor of the soup and add salt/pepper if necessary.
8) Grate parmesan over soup before serving and enjoy!

Unless you’re serving a big crowd this pot of soup could easily provide several meals worth – freeze serving sizes in tupperware and enjoy this comforting dish another day.

For the original recipe see: Giada De Laurentiis – Lentil Soup

Technorati Tags: , ,

Tags: Comfort Food · Entree · Soup

1 response so far ↓

  • Geneve // May 22, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    We enjoyed the rest of this soup a few nights ago – it held up extremely well and was so easy to defrost. I took it out of the freezer in the morning and left it in the fridge. When I was ready to heat it up that evening it was defrosted and ready to go! This soup was as delicious and flavorful as it was the first time around!