Hearty Heart Healthy Lentil Soup.
Hearty Heart Healthy Lentil Soup. JANEEN SARLIN
Soups have been known to cure almost anything, from the common cold (with diluted chicken soup), heartache (with spiced fresh tomato soup), depression and most maladies (with hearty beef barley soup.) Whether you believe in the curative properties of homemade soup or not, no one can question or pass up a piping hot bowl of hearty soup. If you care for the folks you love, no doubt you’ll prepare one of these hearty soups soon.
When it gets cold and rainy, make a large pot of soup and freeze half of it in pint-sized containers for a quick dinner after the movies, a matinee, or when there’s no time to cook. Serve the rest for dinner that evening.
Dutch Pea Soup is traditionally an entrée. It is prepared one day and served at least two days later for the best flavor. If there are leftovers, water is added to the purée and it’s topped with fresh parsley and croutons as the first course on a subsequent day.
Italian Riviera Minestrone soup is the star attraction when entertaining health food lovers for dinner. The rich taste will convert the carnivores at the table. Use only the best and freshest vegetables in the market.
A bowl of hearty heart-healthy lentil soup is equally delicious with or without the turkey sausage.
Pour a glass of full-bodied red wine or a frosty glass of beer, serve hot crusty bread with these soups and complete the menu with apples and grapes for dessert.
Dutch Pea Soup
(Serves 6 to 8)
3 cups green split peas
1 smoked pigs’ feet (found in pork section of the meat department)
1/4 pound slab bacon in one piece
3 large leeks, diced, white parts only
2 medium onions, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 bulb celeriac or celery root, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, diced
1/2 bay leaf
2 quarts water or more as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Optional: 1/2 pound all-beef frankfurters, sliced thin
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
About 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
In a large soup pot over high heat, place the split peas, pigs’ feet, bacon, leeks, onions, carrot, celery root, celery and bay leaf. Add water, cover and bring to a boil. REDUCE the heat and skim the foam off the top. Simmer gently until the meat on the pigs’ feet separates from the bones, about 2 hours. Discard the bones and fat. Remove the meat, dice and reserve. Strain the soup and transfer vegetables to food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Return the meat and the purée to the soup pot. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add water if necessary to create a thick soup and simmer. Meanwhile, in a skillet over high heat, melt the butter and sauté frankfurter slices until brown. Add to the soup, ladle into warm soup bowls, garnish with parsley, and serve very hot.
Italian Riviera Minestrone Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery with leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, (parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme and marjoram)
4 fresh large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with juices, seeded and chopped)
About 4 cups butternut squash peeled, and cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
7 cups water or good quality vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 to 4 cups green peas
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed
Optional: 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 large piece of Parmesan cheese rind
In a large soup pot over high heat, add the olive oil and when it shimmers, add the onion, carrots, celery, and herbs and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, squash, potatoes, stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then REDUCE the heat to a simmer and cook covered until the vegetables are tender, about 1 hour. Stir in mushrooms if using, peas and spinach, and cook about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more water if necessary. Add Parmesan cheese rind after about 1 1/2 hours of cooking. (It will melt some-what naturally adding a rich flavor to the soup, remove just before serving.)
Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve with hot crusty Tuscan bread to sop up the juices.
Hearty Heart Healthy Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, cleaned and chopped, both white and some of the light green parts
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup lentils (Puy or brown)
2 bay leaves
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
2 turkey sausage links, diced
6 cups water (or chicken stock)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 kale leaves, chopped
3 to 4 scallions, minced
1/3 cup chopped parsley
In a soup pot over moderate heat, sauté leek, onion, and garlic in olive oil until soft and aromatic. Add lentils, bay leaves, rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, thyme, turkey sausage, and water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. Remove one-third of the vegetables and puree in a food processor. Return puree to soup and stir well to blend. Add salt and kale; continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with scallions and parsley.
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