I took advantage of the gift of quiet and snowy days in early January to pull out some cookbooks I collected many years ago. One of my treasured favourites is the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It contains a recipe for lentil soup that is described as gentle. It is, indeed, simple and gentle . . . and delicious!
There’s something comforting about a pot of soup simmering on the stove on a winter day. I like to put a pot of this soup on, adapted from the Moosewood recipe, at mid-morning so it’s ready in time for lunch.
- 3 cups lentils, rinsed
- 1 quart of homemade vegetable stock (if you don’t have any stock on hand you can just use water)
- 3 cups water
- 6-8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium to large onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 quart canned stewed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Basil, to taste. You can use 1 tsp of dried but I find dried basil to be relatively tasteless. I used a chunk of basil from my garden that I chopped and froze in olive oil last summer.
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place rinsed lentils, water, stock, and salt in pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer very gently for 20-30 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients and continue simmering for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve hot. I like to drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over mine; Gerry chooses not to.