Greek(-ish) Lentil Soup
If anyone needs ideas for Good Plague Cookin’, here’s a tasty one.
(This recipe was adapted per KB from dragonwagon.com)
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 whole dried poblano pepper, hard stem broken off, or 1 fresh jalapeno, stem removed, halved
- kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
make it soup:
- 1 pound lentils, rinsed and picked over (I prefer Pardina lentils, but regular brown lentils are fine)
- 2 1/2 quarts stock or water (we use Better than Bouillon)
- 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced (I prefer to peel them, YMMV)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, well-washed, stems removed, chopped (or a bag of baby spinach, does not need to be chopped)
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion/celery/garlic and hot pepper (and a good pinch of salt) and allow to sweat a bit. Add aromatics and stir for a minute or two, until the coriander and cumin seeds get lightly toasted.
Stir in a dollop of Better than Bouillon, then add lentils and water (or stock if not using BtB) and bring to a boil. (Add a little salt every time you add a new batch of stuff to the pot!)
Lower the heat to a simmer. 15 minutes later, add the squash and potatoes, salt again, and cook for another 20-30 minutes until tender. Add spinach and cook for only a couple minutes more (it should remain bright green). Turn off heat.
Add the lemon juice and pepper pepper pepper. Taste for salt. Let everything sit and allow the flavors to meld for at least 15 minutes or so before serving.
(KB's note, with all due respect: I think this approach builds flavor better than the original recipe, because hippie cookbook authors in the late 20th century tended to love cocaine and hate salt and fat.)