Sick needs Soup! Lentil Soup with Garlic and Tomatoes

24 Jan

In the grip of both a case of the flu and the coldest windchill in many years, my body was screaming out for a hearty, healthy soup yesterday. But it had to be one that used only ingredients I already had in the house. I wasn’t about to take my weak body out into the frosty world.

Lentil Soup with Garlic and Tomatoes --- A Bowl of Goodness

Lentil Soup with Garlic and Tomatoes — A Bowl of Goodness

Browsing my recipe boxes, I happened upon a recipe I’d cut from The Ottawa Citizen (date unknown) for Lentil Soup with Garlic and Plum Tomatoes. In about an hour and with a few substitutions, I’d made a low-fat, delicious and nutritious supper. The original recipe made 8 – 10 servings, so I cut the quantities in half. If you want the larger-sized pot of soup, double the quantity of the ingredients used below. This would make a great weekend cooking project, providing soup for lunches for the week ahead.

Use mini-chopper to finely chop/mince 1/2 head of garlic

Use mini-chopper to finely chop/mince 1/2 head of garlic

Rinse, grain, sort 3/8 cup red lentils

Rinse, grain, sort 3/8 cup red lentils

Start by peeling half a head of garlic. Mince the cloves in a mini-chopper or garlic press. Dice 1 1/2 large, peeled carrots and 1 stalk of celery. Finely dice 1 small onion. Rinse, drain and sort 3/8 cup of lentils (I used red).

The original recipe called for 1 small, diced zucchini and 1/8 cup of chopped fresh parsley added at the end of the recipe and simmered for 2 minutes before serving. I had neither. What I did have was dried parsley and some leftover kale. I washed the leaves, striped them from their stalks and sliced the frilly greens horizontally. I used 2 cups.

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In a Dutch oven or stock pot, warm 1 tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, stirring and cooking for 2 minutes or until the garlic is soft but not browned.

Add chopped carrot, celery and onion. Saute for 10 minutes.

Add chopped carrot, celery and onion. Saute for 10 minutes.

Add the carrot, celery and onion to the pot. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add stock, tomatoes and lentils. Simmer 30 -60 minutes

Add stock, tomatoes and lentils. Simmer 30 -60 minutes. Add 3 cups of vegetable stock, 1 – 28 oz can of diced plum tomatoes and their juice, 3/8 cup rinsed red lentils, 1 rounded tablespoon of dried parsley and one bay leaf.

Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the temperature so the soup just simmers. Cook for 30 minutes (for red lentils) up to 60 minutes (for the larger varieties). As I used red lentils, I didn’t see the need to puree half the soup to thicken it. If you use larger lentils, cook for the longer period and puree half the soup to make a smoother consistency.

Add orzo pasta (and more broth or water as needed). Simmer about 15 minutes longer.

Add orzo pasta (and more broth or water as needed). Simmer about 15 minutes longer.

Return the puree to the pot, stir. Add 1/2 cup of tiny pasta (I used the rice-like orzo) and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.

My soup was quite thick at this point, so I added another 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to aid in cooking the pasta. You could use water. If your soup thickens, stir it frequently to prevent scalding the bottom of your pot.

Talk about eating your colours! Simmer 2 cups sliced kale leaves, covered for 2 minutes.

Talk about eating your colours! Simmer 2 cups sliced kale leaves, covered for 2 minutes.

When the pasta is tender, add the two cups of sliced kale greens, stir into the soup, cover the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. I added more vegetable broth with the kale (using the rest of a 900 mL box of vegetable broth or approximately 3 3/4 cups in total)

Sprinkle with Parmesan, pour a glass of rich Italian red wine and butter some grainy oatmeal bread,

Sprinkle with Parmesan, pour a glass of rich Italian red wine and butter some grainy oatmeal bread.

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and a couple of slices of buttered Extra Grainy Porridge Bread. When cooled, divide the remaining soup into individual freezer containers. I had 4 – 2 cup servings in all.

For lunch today, I reheated a second serving of soup (plus some water) in the microwave [3 – 4 minutes on HIGH]. The garlic taste was a bit more prominent today, but not at all overpowering. Just enough to rid me of my nasty germs? I hope so.

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5 Responses to “Sick needs Soup! Lentil Soup with Garlic and Tomatoes”

  1. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 25, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Great stuff! I love lentils, love garlic, and hate the cold!

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers January 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      I could have also called this post “Hot, Cheap and Easy” Natalia, or “Frugal Feeding” but some other great bloggers already have those terrific names for their blogs! I also forgot to mention the soup was delicious. Just what I needed to restore my aching body and bored soul!

  2. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy January 25, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    …and feel better soon!

    • Susan at Savvy Single Suppers January 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      I am busting out of the house today. Temps and windchill factors are on the rise in Canada’s capital today. Who cares if I reek of garlic? My bundles of sweaters and down coat should protect the unsuspecting public. I hope.

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