It's not exactly Fall temperatures here in the Bay Area, but my tummy troubles have called for many a pot of soup. I was tired of the plain-old chicken soup and started scouring the internet for a yummy-sounding lentil soup. I wasn't the least big surprised to find one that sounded positively scrumptious over at shutterbean. That girl speaks my language when it comes to food.
I made a few adjustments, based on what I had around. I find that adding a parmesan rind to pretty much any soup imparts the most deep and deliciously nutty flavor. Our Costco is carrying duck right now and after the hubster made the most amazing smoked duck (salty, sweet, and tender), I used the carcass to make duck broth. Pretty much one of the best soups I've ever made with that super combination. (You could easily substitute chicken or vegetable broth in place of the rich duck broth).
Vegetable Lentil Soup
recipe slightly adapted from Shutterbean, who adapted it from this book
4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
5 celery stocks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 small tomatoes, chopped
2 TBS tomato paste
2 cups lentils
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
9 cups duck broth (made just like chicken but with a duck carcass)
6 cups water
glug of red wine
freshly grated parmesan
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes and paste and cook a minute more.
Add lentils, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, broth, water, and parmesan rind. Bring pot contents to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are tender. (Be sure to skim foam off top of soup as the lentils cook).
Salt to taste. Stir in a glug of red wine. Top with freshly grated parmesan.
Serve with parmesan cheese & garlic toasts, if desired.