#MeatlessMonday: Lentil Soup with Pistou

Lentils Are Not Catfood
Lentils Are Not Catfood

Hold your hats, ’cause it’s

Lentil Soup Time!

Now, first of all, you may be wondering what’s up with the cat.  Well, I believe that kitty there truly encompasses what most people think of lentils.  People seem to that that they look like cat food, sometimes they smell like fat good, and, of course, if it looks like cat food and smells like cat food, it’s probably cat food.

Well, I say no way!  Lentils are really good, especially if prepared properly.

However, that’s the key…preparing them properly.  The good news is, it’s just not that hard!  Once you master that trick, you will be on your way to wonderful lentils every time!!

Also, I mentioned this recipe has “pistou.”  Don’t be afraid of the term, pistou is just pesto without the nuts!

Making Lentil Soup

This recipe was inspired by my friend Chef Jasper,who serves lentil soup in his restaurant every Monday.   He gave me some pointers on how to cook the lentils and I totally ripped off the pasta idea from him.  With that being said, I tried to take this recipe in a different direction.  Not because his wasn’t good, but because I wanted to do something a bit different.  However, I did keep the pasta in the recipe.  If you have any left over from the night before, heat it up and add it in for a nice heart twist.

Anyway, I hope I succeeded in making something original.  If not, well, sorry Chef!

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup cooked pasta

First, make sure your pasta is cooked. 🙂

Next, in a soup pot add the olive oil and let it get hot over a medium flame.  Then add the onions and the garlic.  Saute until the onions are translucent.  Add the onions and celery and cook for 4 minutes with a pinch of salt.  This will help caramelize their sugars and give the soup a slightly different taste.

Next, add the stock and the cilantro and stir well.  Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. 

Once boiling, reduce the heat so that the broth is just barely boiling (aka simmering) and add the lentils and cayenne pepper.  Cook for 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

While the lentils are cooking, put the basil in a food processor and pulse 4-5 times.  Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pistou is a thick paste.  This will go over the soup and needs to be a bit thicker than a pesto sauce.  You probably won’t need 1/2 cup, but it’s better to have more than not enough.

Once the lentils are done, ladle into bowls over the pasta, top with pistou and any extra parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Thanks to xueexueg for the picture!


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