Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday's Twist: Lemon-Basil Lentil Soup

Tuesday's Twist:  A basic recipe with a fun twist.  In other words, just another excuse for me to play around with weird recipes I've been dying to try.

Chilly winter days call for soup.  Fun bowls and spoons definitely help chase away the winter blues.  The bowl was a Christmas gift from my mom.  It was handmade for the Empty Bowls project to help fight hunger.  After a simple meal of bread and soup participants take home an empty, handcrafted bowl as a reminder of the all the hunger and empty bowls around the world.  The hand-carved wooden spoon stands up on its own and is nothing short of amazing.

As for the soup, it's warm and simple yet flavorful and filling.  Lentils are packed with protein and full of fiber as well as being a good source of iron.  Fresh lemon juice adds a delicate citrus flavor (don't bother with the bottled kind here).  For an even brighter lemon flavor sprinkle in some fresh lemon zest just before serving.  Ahhh, citrus makes up for the lack of sunshine in the winter, don't you think?

I used as much fresh basil as my nearly dead plant allowed, but feel free to used more or substitute dried basil if needed.  A good rule of thumb for dried herbs is 1 tsp dried equals 1 Tbsp fresh (in other words a 3:1 ratio for fresh:dry).  Use what you have on hand and adjust to your personal preference.  If you happen to have any fresh spinach or kale on hand it would also make for a nice addition near the end of the cooking time.

Lemon-Basil Lentil Soup
inspired by Peas and Thank You

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stalk, sliced
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 cup dry green or brown lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (do not use bottled)
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt, to taste

* Preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Spray with nonstick spray and add onion, carrot and celery.  Saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Stir in coriander and saute 1 minute more.
* Add lentils and vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Stir in fresh lemon juice and basil.  Season to taste with salt.

Food for Thought: "Winter is time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home." -Edith Sitwell

No comments:

Post a Comment