It’s officially fall in Wisconsin, if anyone was wondering. It’s rainy, the treetops are gorgeous, and a sweater or cardigan is no longer quite enough coverage to provide warmth during the morning commute. So, like a crazy man, N decides he needs to celebrate the 40-degree weather by going out on the water in numerous long-sleeved t-shirts and attempt to bring home supper. This act is affectionately known in our house as “bringing home the fish-bacon.”
So N leaves mid-afternoon and stays out on the water, holding a stick tied to some string dangling in the water, until it’s very dark and cold, and then comes home… usually empty-handed. That means I get the kitchen (and the TV/DVD player) to myself! Hurrah!
My midriff = not buff. I’ve been eating a lot more meat now that I’m eating with N, and that’s not necessary or good for my pants buttons. So I made a flex-soup of lentils and veggies we had around the house, and added cooked shredded chicken to half of it, just to appease the hub’s man-eating urges. Pretty much any veggie can be subbed: wilted spinach or other greens, green beans, cooked firm squash or sweet potato, etc. Work with what ya got, people!
Flexible lentil soup
1/2 pound of dried lentils
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3+ cups of chopped or sliced veggies– I used carrots, a couple of small potatoes, and 3 ribs of celery
5 cups chicken broth
2 T. tomato paste
2 tsp garam masala
salt & pepper to taste
Rinse and sort the lentils. I usually let mine soak in a little water, and I sift them in the water with my hands just to clean them up a little. Sautee the onion and garlic in a pot with some EVOO, just until soft. Add 1/2 c. of the broth and any raw veggies to the pot; let simmer/sautee in small amount of broth for 5- 10 minutes. Pour in another 1-2 cups of broth, the seasonings, and the lentils; keep at a slow simmer for 10 minutes, until lentils have soaked up much of the broth and thickened the mixture. Add the tomato paste and remainder of the brother and stir to incorporate the t-paste. (I also added some fresh chopped parsley and another minced clove of garlic at this point) Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, or however long you like, adding additional liquid as desired.
I had it simmering on the stove for over 2 hours as I waited for N to get home, and had to add an additional cup of water to keep it the consistency that I was looking for.
If you or your H prefer meat, you can add in any cooked meat to the soup once the lentils and veggies are fully cooked. Enjoy!