You might be reading this and thinking, "Isn't she in Florida where it's still super hot every day? Why the heck is she making soup?"
Well, my friends. When you are living on a college-person budget (again) and you find yourself with tons of produce sitting around your kitchen, and the thought of said produce going bad makes you cringe... you just end up making soup, I guess. See, I also have this box of chicken stock in my fridge from earlier in the week when my sister and I made a Weight Watchers version of a chicken pot pie. (Insanely good.) Yes, I am "primarily pescetarian," but if there are any reasons to eat chicken, Chick-fil-A sandwiches and chicken pot pie are the leaders of the pack. I still haven't decided which is king in the chicken department.
Anyway, I just finished making this soup and I feel compelled to share this goodness with everyone, because it is by far, hands-down, 100% the best lentil soup I've ever had in my life. My variation has a bit of a kick to it, because I ended up making it with the ingredients I happened to have on hand.
Best Lentil Soup Ever
yields 3-4 servings*
1 T olive oil
1/4 of an onion, diced
1 - 2 carrots, chopped (or, in my case, two very large handfuls of baby carrots, haha)
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp each of oregano and dried basil (I used an Italian blend from Penzeys)
1 bay leaf
1 heaping cup of dried lentils
1/2 can of crushed tomatoes (but I used a can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes with green chilis from Trader Joes - it adds a lil' spice to life)
1/2 cup spinach, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 tsp Penzeys vegetable stock
salt and fresh black pepper
*Original Recipe found on Allrecipes.com. I modified this version by cutting most items in half, and I also added some things, didn't have some things, etc. I highly recommend reading the comments, because it seems like lots of cooks out there have a few yummy recipe alternatives.
The directions can be followed more easily on the site, but basically you cook the carrots and onions in the olive oil for a few minutes in a pot before adding the rest of the spices, and then you just dump in the rest -- except the spinach, which is stirred in at the very end. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes to an hour, add in the spinach, let it cool a bit, and then be sure to taste test your final results. I had to sneak a bit tonight... it's that good.
If you make it, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I'm also curious to try new veggie-friendly soup recipes this fall, so share away, my friends.