Greek Lentil Soup, Adapted

If anyone needs ideas for Good Plague Cookin’, here’s a tasty one.

(This recipe was adapted per KB from dragonwagon.com)

Ingredients

base:
  • spray cooking oil
  • 1 pound lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 1/2 quarts vegetable stock or water
  • 1 whole dried poblano pepper, hard stem broken off, or 1 fresh jalapeno, stem removed, halved
aromatics:
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, maybe also 1tsp basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
vegetables:
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, or 1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, well-washed, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 small to medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (you want to end up with about 2 1/2 cups diced squash)
for saute:
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • paper-thin slices of lemon to garnish; thin wedges of lemon to pass at the table

Instructions

Spray a large soup pot with oil, and in it cook the onion/celery/garlic, then add the aromatics (& dollop of Better Than Bouillon, if using) and stir for a bit. Then add the lentils & water (or stock if not using Better Than Bouillon).

Add salt to taste. Do not wait until the end to add salt, either. Salt in stages. Always.

Then, 15 minutes later, add the squash/potatoes, maybe more salt, and cook for another 20-30 mins, then add the spinach for only a few minutes at the end.

Just after the end, add the lemon juice, and maybe pepper to taste.

This approach builds flavor better than the original recipe.