Saturday, August 15, 2009

Addictive Red Lentil Soup

I've been making this recipe for a long time - it's good enough that once, when I made it for my dad while he was in town on a visit, I got him hooked. He lived in rural Pennsylvania, though, so I ended up sending him red lentils from our co-op, because he couldn't buy them locally.

That was years ago, and I'm pretty sure that red lentils are more readily available these days. I hope so, anyway, because this soup is mighty tasty and it won't work with green or brown lentils.

Portobello and Basil Lentil Soup
(adapted from a recipe published in Shape Magazine many (many) years ago)

  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cup diced portobello mushroom
  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 bunch basil, coarsely chopped (reserve a few small ones for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup dry sherry (optional)

In a soup pot over medium-high heat, saute the garlic, onion, green pepper, salt, pepper, and mushrooms until mushrooms are tender (about 5 minutes).

Add the chicken broth and tomato paste to soup pot and completely blend together.

Stir in the red lentils and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the basil and simmer (with pot covered)15 minutes longer.

Add extra salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the stew in individual bowls and float one tablespoon sherry on top of each bowl.

Garnish with remaining basil leaves and serve hot.

yield: serves 4-6

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