You know what's boring? Lentils. You know what you can make out of them that's boring? Lentil soup.
I have never been a big fan of these sad, frankly weak, frankly pedestrian little legumes.* Jim loves 'em, the boys happily eat 'em up, and I'm kind of "… lentils… meh."
So this soup is supposed to be a game-changer. At least according to me. Just look at the list of yummy stuff that goes alongside to complement lentils' undeniably robust and hearty character!
Actually, it's pretty damn good.** Eat up with gusto. 170 calories a serving, or thereabouts; but don't tell your proud-to-eat-too-much significant other.
Adapted from Gourmet Every Day: Over 200 Quick and Easy Recipes for Dinner, brought to you by the late lamented Gourmet magazine.
Lentil Soup with Spinach and Tomato
Makes a bunch. Cut it in half if you like. Freezes well, though, so you might as well make the whole thing.
1/2 cup lentils
4 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder (or a homemade curry spice mix, which is usually what I use, but I was feeling lazy tonight)
1 package frozen chopped spinach, or 1 bunch spinach, washed/stemmed/chopped fine
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup sherry
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp (or more!) red wine vinegar
Plenty of salt
Plenty of pepper
Combine lentils and water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender (about 20 minutes).
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add curry powder and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
Add onion mixture, spinach, tomatoes, broth, sherry, sugar, red pepper flakes and 1 tsp salt to lentils. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and vinegar.
Check for seasoning. Does it need more salt? Lentils without salt are like flowers without sunshine. Droopy and lame. Add a little hot sauce if you like. Pepper generously before serving.
There you go. Let me know if it changes your mind (for the better) about lentils, 'cause that would be awesome.
*I was going to say "don't tell me if they're not legumes," but I guess that would be a good thing to know for the sake of, y'know, one's trove of useless knowledge.
**So far, Fisher and Rhys have gobbled up two bowls each.