January is National Soup Month and as you probably know, soup goes really well with bread.
Normally, when you plan a meal, you start with the main attraction and then choose the bread to go with it. However, being a bread-baking fanatic, I tend to arrange my meals the other way around.
So when the Bread Baking Babes decided to make chapatis, I needed something to go with them. Lentil soup seemed liked the perfect accompaniment. However, I had never made it before.
As luck would have it, an article popped up in my news feed one day on making lentil soup without a recipe.
I started out making lentil soup, but somewhere along the way, the soup transformed into something totally different. In addition to lentils, I added some of my favorite things like potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and such.
My meal in-a-pot needed some color (and vitamins) so I decided to visit my garden to see what was growing. This is the first time I’ve had a winter garden so I wanted to make use of it. I named it my soup garden because I planted vegetables that would go in soup. Of course, just because you plant them, doesn’t mean that is what you will get.
When I checked my plot at the community garden, the spinach looked a little worse for wear, but I had some kale. So that is what I used in this soup. I only had a couple of handfuls; just enough to give it a little bit of color. I was just excited to be able to use something from my garden, especially in the winter.
To make this a complete meal and to give it a richer flavor, I also added some smoked sausage.
After adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I don’t think this soup qualifies as lentil soup anymore, but it sure tastes great. It reminds me of Tuscan Bean Soup without the beans.
I doubled the recipe below and froze the extra.
Lentil and Potato Soup My Way
Serves: 4 to 6
Adapted from: Soups by Marquerite Patten
- 1 cup lentils *
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic or to taste
- 1 cup kale or baby spinach, torn apart
- Sliced cooked sausage (optional)
- 4 cups (32 oz. box) vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon curry **
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme **
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage **
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley **
- Salt and pepper to taste
* I used red lentils which cook fairly quickly and don’t need to be soaked before using. You can use green or brown lentils if you prefer, but you’ll need to soak them overnight before adding them to this soup.
** I incorporated a mixture of seasonings to add depth of flavor. Feel free to season to your taste.
Place the lentils and the vegetable or chicken stock in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the sliced carrots, onions, minced garlic, celery, potatoes and sausage. Tear the kale or spinach and add it to the pot.
Sprinkle in the seasonings of your choice and stir well. Cook the soup for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Be careful not to let it boil. Feel free to pour in more stock if you add too many vegetables like I did.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with the bread of your choice.
I enjoyed this soup with Chapatis (not shown).
Happy Baking and Soup Making!