Mo' Soup?!

I know it seems like a weird time of year to be making soup, but this recipe, inspired by one from my friend Ingrid M., works well for my summer schedule because it is made in the crock pot. This means that you are doing your frying, etc., in the cool of the morning, instead of the hottest part of the day. Besides, soup nicely complements the salads I am finally able to start making from homegrown lettuce--we had the first home-garden salad of the season tonight. Yippee!

However, there is also a fast version, in case you forgot to plan for the crock pot.

Click on the recipe title to get a downloadable PDF 4"x6" recipe card file.

Red Lentil Soup
Talena Winters ©2011

1 tbsp.butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2-3 medium carrots, chopped fine
6 c. homemade chicken or turkey stock
1 14-oz can stewed tomatoes, blended (in blender)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
¾ cup red lentils
½ c. uncooked brown rice (or, for fast version, 2 c. cooked)
1 tsp. sea salt
Pinch of dried red chilies
Dollop of crème fraiche or cottage cheese, to serve

Crock Pot:
Melt the butter and olive oil together in a medium frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until the onions are limp but not brown. Add carrot and cook for about 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to crockpot and add remaining ingredients (except crème fraiche). Cover with lid and cook on high for 5 – 7 hours or overnight.

Stovetop (in case you are in a hurry):
Prepare as above, except use a large saucepan instead of a frying pan. After softening carrots, simply add remaining ingredients except crème fraiche (be sure to use cooked rice), and simmer on medium-low for about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are cooked.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream in each bowl.