With the most basic pantry create a robust lentil soup. Somehow it seems the true nature of soup is to create a batch, big or small, with what is on hand; to enjoy the process, a quick chop and a long simmer. With extra soaked lentils from lentil burgers made days earlier, a box of vegetable stock from the pantry, a big onion from the onion bin plus a few stray green onions and my last carrot, this luxurious soup took little effort and was a pleasure to make.
most basic lentil soup
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 large onion, chopped
A bunch or several green onions, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 tsp. dried thyme
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups presoaked* lentils
coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. or so yogurt or sour cream
Warm the fats in a pot and add the onions, carrots and dried thyme. Gently cook for 30 minutes, until very soft. Add 4 cups vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in the lentils, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove from the heat and with an immersion blender, blend to the desired consistency. Season with black pepper and lemon juice and smooth out the consistency with a bit of yogurt or sour cream. Return to low heat until heated through and serve.
Soaking lentils: Before cooking lentils I soak them overnight. I measure out a cup, place them in a bowl and cover with water. The bowl stands on the counter for the night and in the morning I drain the lentils in a sieve. The water looks dirty and I'm glad I took the soaking step. I allow the lentils to drain thoroughly before transferring to a bowl and storing in the refrigerator. I have stored soaked lentils in the refrigerator for as much as one week. Soaked lentils are still firm but far greater in volume than rinsed lentils. I find the texture and digestibility of the foods made with soaked lentils is improved by taking the simple step of soaking. One cup of lentils, once soaked, yields 2 to 3 cups - enough for a couple lentil recipes.