I don’t use words like “detox” and “clean eating” because I find them triggering for those of us with a history of food struggles. But, this sure is a good week for a couple of soup dinners. Not as penance, but because it feels good to eat something simpler and lighter than the usual holiday fare. It’s also really dang cold where I am (-1 here at 11am, with beautiful, bright sun!), and a pot of soup on the stove is comforting.
I saw the original recipe for this lentil soup (and Parmesan Croutons!) in Remedy Quarterly, a little magazine I picked up at Powell’s the last time I was in Portland. Credits to Kelsey Wharton of Rising*Shining, the author of “Soup Would Tell Me” .
Croutons: I just realized why restaurant croutons are always better: oil. You’ve got to use enough to get some crispy. Do not be afraid. It is so worth it.
How To: rip up a day or two old chunk of sourdough into bite-sized pieces (about 1″) and put the pieces in a bowl. For about 6 cups of bread pieces, use 1/2 cup of oil (olive oil or avocado oil) and toss with your hands to soak up the oil. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan and toss. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes at 375° F.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 26oz. box of Pomi diced tomatoes (or other diced tomatoes)
- 7 cups water
- 1 cup French-style green lentils (TImeless Foods has grown in Montana! originals are "du Puy"), rinsed with water and inspected for any small stones or other imposters
- 1/2 cup uncooked farro
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 10 grinds of black pepper
- add after cooking: 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the carrots, and cook another 5 minutes, giving everything a stir with a wooden spoon every now and then.
- Add the garlic-salt mash and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes, water, lentils, farro, Worcestershire sauce, bay, thyme, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a slow simmer and cook for an hour.
- Before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in the mustard and vinegar. Top with a few parmesan croutons. Enjoy!