Sunday, October 25, 2009

Winter Lentil Soup

UPDATE - The honey give away is still open, so read the Pumpkin Flan post and comment to enter!

Fall is usually my favorite time of year. The blue skies, red leaves, brisk weather make for one awesome season. However, this fall has been a mix of rain, humidity and frost. Not so much of an awesome season. Today is looking up and hopefully we will get a few days of true autumn and not transition directly to winter.

The one culinary benefit of this yucky weather is it makes me crave soup. And squash. I found this recipe in Real Simple and was immediately drawn to the combination of lentils, tomatoes and leeks. How much more comforting can you get?

Andrew had never eaten lentils before (I know, the nerve!). When we were at my parent's a few months ago, my mom had made some tasty lentil soup but someone, and I have NO idea who, ate the leftovers before he could try any. Needless to say, after a poor description of what they taste like (legume-y), I decided he would like them and we would eat this soup.

I made a few adaptations and cooked it up in one of our new Le Creuset dutch ovens (one of the extraordinary benefits of getting married - registries). I subbed butternut squash for the original sweet potatoes, spinach for kale and added a little crushed red pepper. Although we had ambitions to bake bread, we ran out of time, so I picked up a loaf of freshly bakes Garlic Tuscan bread from the big Weg. (Wegmans for the uninitiated).

YUM!!!! This was excellent and will definitely be something we make again. The flavors were great and it had just a bit of kick. Perfect for a lazy, rainy day.

This recipe is also getting shared at Magazine Mondays, hosted by Ivonne of Cream Puffs In Venice. One magazine recipe down, a million to go...

Winter Lentil Soup
adapted from Real Simple Magazine

2 leeks, white and light green parts only (about 4 cups)
1 bunch baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup brown or green lentils
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine
grated Parmesan (optional)

Slice each leek in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. Place in a large bowl of cold water and swish to remove any grit. Drain and pat dry.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, for 5 minutes.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the spinach, butternut squash, wine, red pepper flakes, lentils, thyme, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Spoon into individual bowls. Sprinkle with the Parmesan (if using).


just someone nosing around in the kitchen said...

I wasn't me, it was probably duke. Mom made her version again this weekend only she threw in some cumin, very tasty indeed

Randi said...

this looks delicious and i'm thinking of making it TONIGHT!

creampuff said...

Oh I'm with you all the way ... Autumn is the best and this soup looks lovely. I'm a big fan of lentils ... love it!

Andrew J Kirkpatrick said...

This was really delicious! I've never had lentils before so was a little unsure, but I wasn't disappointed. They were very tasty and I'll be sure to keep eating them now!

Anonymous said...

"Asleep-brain" packed 3 crock pots in storage while waiting for an escrow to close! So yesterday, with fall on the horizon a new crock pots, #4, was added to the collection...all are different sizes if that counts.

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