This recipe is from “Veganomicon”, a vegan cookbook I got awhile back when…ugh, it’s embarrassing to admit, but I got it right after baby #2 bc I wanted to lose baby weight fast- and so, I started eating vegan.  And I learned that that’s incredibly difficult, especially for someone who loves meat more than anything!  At any rate, the book has some really great recipes, and I still try to use it for meatless meal ideas.

Anyway, after making the vegetable broth yesterday, I really wanted to make some soup- and after a pantry reorganizing project the other day, I found that I have way too many bags of beans lying around.  So, here’s hoping to reduce that number by usin’ up some lentils!

Here’s the recipe- I’m going to do a photo-dump style post:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian if you’ve got it)
  • 5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups French lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil. Sauté the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until onions have browned a bit. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and a little splash of water if necessary, and stir to deglaze the pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the water, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, then cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the soup looks too thin, uncover and simmer for a couple more minutes. If it looks too thick, add a little more water. Serve with good, crusty bread.

Sauteeing carrots and onions

W/garlic and herbs...I have to admit that the smell of tarragon kinda makes me queasy. It's the same way w/celery- once it's cooked, I'm fine 🙂

W/everything added in and simmering

And now, we wait- it should simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid’s reduced a bit and the lentil’s are tender.  Be back soon!

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Wow, it’s really good- despite the tarragon! 😉  No, really…this is yummy!  If I have any criticism for the recipe, it’d be that there are WAY too many lentils- I didn’t even cook it for 20 minutes when the liquid was gone, and it was like lentil craziness.  Way, way too many lentils- if I made this again, I’d probably only use one cup, and not two.  This time, though, I scooped out some, and added in another cup of broth.

All set!

But wow, sooo good- the tarragon really adds something unique.  It’s much more of a complex blend of flavors than I might have thought, and wow, the leftovers will be so good for lunch!  (And I’m sure the yummy homemade broth had a lot to do w/this delicious meal…or, at least I’ll pretend it did!)

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E did have some “constructive criticisms” when he tried this- mainly that it was just a “giant bowls of beans” (It’s not, clearly- just look at that ingredient list up there, mister!  But again, this was why I think the amount of lentils should be cut down- seriously, it’s a lot!).  So anyway, for the leftovers, I’m going to add in more tomatoes and maybe even some roast chicken (we still have some leftover from the other night).  The flavor of the soup was really great…just maybe too many lentils! 🙂

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