Thursday, March 8, 2012


In February I tried a number of new recipes I had come across and a good amount of those were soups. Below I have rated some of them. Rating system - F: Barely edible; D: OK but I probably wouldn't make it again; C: Good; B: Really liked it and will save this recipe; A: Loved it and didn't want to share.

Winter Lentil Soup (Vegetarian Option) C+
Hands-on Time: 20m
Total Time: 1h
Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 1/4-inch think half-moons

  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch wide strips

  • 1/2 cup brown lentils

  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce) - optional

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.

  2. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan, if using.
Basic brown lentils retain their shape better during cooking than pricier red and yellow lentils, so they're terrific for soups. Or you can substitute green lentils, which taste slightly peppery

Mushroom Barley Soup (Vegetarian Option) B
Hands-on Time: 35m
Total Time: 40m
Serves 4 Ingredients

  • 1 cup barley

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 large carrot, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 20 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (about 8 sprigs)

  • sliced sourdough or other country bread, toasted (optional)

  1. In a medium-size pan, bring the barley and 4 cups of water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook until the onions have softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

  3. Add the carrot and celery and cook, covered, for 6 minutes more.

  4. Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and cook, covered, until they release their juices, about 4 minutes.

  5. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

  6. Stir in the cooked barley; remove and discard the bay leaves. If desired, season with additional salt and pepper and serve with the sourdough toast.

To bring out the barley's nutty flavor, saute it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter over medium heat for a few minutes before adding the water

Spring Lentil Soup B+
Hands-on Time: 15m
Total Time: 45m
Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 4 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 6 boiled baby red potatoes, quartered

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils

  • 1/4 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)

  • 1/2 cooked pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes and simmer 5 more minutes

If pressed for time, use packages of presliced vegetables found at most supermarkets

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup A-
Prep Time: 20m
Cook Time: 55m
Serves 4


  • 1 bone-in chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved

  • 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Kosher salt

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 large onion, very thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder

  • 1/3 cup jasmine rice

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Combine the chicken, carrots, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups broth and bring to a boil; immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in another saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; cook until the onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and the remaining 3 cups broth. Increase the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the rice falls apart, 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Remove the chicken from its broth; discard the skin/bones and shred the meat into pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the same broth.

  4. Puree the rice mixture with an immersion blender until smooth (or use a regular blender then return to the pan). Pour in the chicken and broth, stirring gently to combine; bring to a simmer. Toss in the chopped herbs and serve the soup with lemon wedges.

1 comment:

amberfisher said...

You're back too! Now that I have finally updated the blog I took some time to check out my blogging buddies :) I like the new look and will definitely be trying out some of these recipes. You know how much I love lentils.