Food Stamp Challenge Day 7: One of the Best Soups Ever, or Making Up with Lentils

| September 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

I have issues with most lentil soup recipes.  I like the thought of lentils — inexpensive, fast-cooking, take on the sumptuous flavors of whatever you cook them with, and super-high in protein for active human bodies like ours.

But no matter what I’ve ever done to them, the result has always been something…I don’t know….lentil-y.  There’s a specific character they have that has always been something I had to force myself to overlook. Not bad, just…boring.  My husband, who was fed a steady diet of lentils when he took college classes in Spain, has suffered through all my attempts to find ways to cook them that are pleasurable, and judging from the dog flatulence in the house the day after a lentil dinner, I suspect he’s giving away more than he’s eating, but still he humors me (bless that guy).

This is nothing like that.

I’m sitting here wishing I were still eating it.  I go into The Faraway Look when I think of it.  I could go on and on with a dozen superlatives carefully chosen from, but instead I’ll just give you the recipe and let you try it.  It’s adapted – well, largely stolen lock, stock and barrel – from the absolutely fabulous Post Punk Kitchen (go there! buy their stuff! keep them working!), who also gave us the incredible Beetdown Burger. It was well worth the purchase of a tiny, precious bottle of smoked paprika.

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup with Greens and Olives

1 T olive oil
1  onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp  dried thyme
2 T sweet smoked paprika
1 cup dried organic green or brown lentils
5 cups vegetable broth (I make homemade out of veggie scraps to avoid paying $3.00+ for it…)
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
1 28 oz can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
4 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach, or 1-1/2 cups of leftover cooked greens, as we used
3/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high, then saute the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so, then stir in the thyme and paprika.

Add the lentils, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are almost tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until lentils are nice and soft.  Add the greens and olives and stir for a minute or so, adding a little water if you prefer your soup thinner. Ours came out more like a stew, and it was fantastic.

I’ll post a picture the next time we make it – and we WILL make it again this month (have to use up the smoked paprika, for one thing)



Category: Cooking, Food, Food Stamp Challenge Recipes, Money Saving, Recipes, Whole Foods Challenge

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