Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fire Roasted Tomato & Lentil Soup

Fire Roasted Tomato & Lentil Soup
Well, it's been a long time - but good things sometimes have to come in their own time. Tonight I "improvised" a new lentil soup.  My goal:  a somewhat lighter version of the classic I remember hungrily devouring at my mother's table, but with no sacrifice in flavor. Give this a try, and let me know if you think I succeeded!

1 lb of red lentils
4 c chicken broth (I like College Inn low fat/sodium)
3 c water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (I like extra virgin for strong flavor)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped (ashpet, you can find a use for the other half - I did)
2-3 fire roasted tomatoes (or in the off-season, (1) 14.5 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes)
Parsley sprig (for garnish)
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
Grated cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmegiano Reggiano)

  • Put the lentils with the broth & water into a 4 qt (or so) soup pot
  • Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer for 45 min to 1 hour
          Red lentils are more delicate than green lentils, and are the key ingredient
          in creating a "lighter" while still hearty soup.  It's important to know that they
          will cook faster, break up more readily, and create a thick soup quickly.
          This means you need to be mindful of the cooking process, and stir frequently
          and well, taking care to reduce heat as necessary not to overheat.  Like a tomato
          sauce - the thickening soup can dry out and burn below the surface.
          If this happens severely (and you will know if it is severe) then you have failed!
         Your soup will have a burnt taste no amount of fromage will overcome,
         and you must toss the contents of your pot, and start anew!
         So pay attention, and don't let that happen! (It's only 45 min you can do it!)
  • Gently sautee the minced garlic in the olive oil until lightly golden
  • Add the diced carrot, pepper, and garlic to the pot of simmering lentils
  • You should have ~35m left to go (depending on how quickly you mince garlic)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste at 35-45 min, extend the cooking time at your discretion
Serves 8-10

 - parsley
 - drizzle of fresh Olive Oil (extra virgin recommended)
 - grated cheese (my preference is Pecorino Romano)

Salut y C'ent'anno, and remember - to know good food, is to be close to God.