Although autumn arrived last month, Northern California clearly hasn’t gotten the memo. In late October we were still enjoying the spoils of 70+ degrees. I’m sure you are appalled at someone complaining about such ‘perfect’ weather but hey, sometimes you just want to layer! I love summer as much as the next girl but just like a house guest over staying their welcome, one soon tires of being sweaty. Every year around early September I eagerly await the changing colored leaves and smell of pumpkin bread wafting out of my kitchen. But much to my chagrin, this year it seemed that summer just didn’t want to let go… Finally on one glorious morning a few days ago, I woke to a brisk 50 degrees and excitedly brought my knit scarves and cozy boot socks out from hibernation.
As the chill in the air grows ever stronger and the nights grow ever longer I am inspired to stay home, cuddle up to my family and enjoy hot soup out of well insulated mugs. A tried and true staple in my home is lentil soup. I’ve been playing with this recipe for years and with each little tweak it further evolves into one of my favorites. As with any good recipe you can use the bare bones of this to experiment and make it your own. Spices and veggies can be tweaked to your liking and you can puree a lot or a little depending on your preference. I prefer mine heavy with tomato and spice and pureed just a little so I can still experience the texture of the ingredients.
Perfect Lentil Soup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
- 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 organic carrots, chopped
- 2 organic stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 3/4 cups dried lentil soaked for 12-24 hours
- 1 quart (4 cups) bone broth or veggie broth for a vegan option
- 1 large organic heirloom tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- black pepper to taste
- 1 bunch organic Swiss chard, de-stemmed and torn into manageable bites
- Place coconut oil or ghee in a large dutch oven over medium heat until oil is hot
- Add onion, carrot, celery and salt and cook for about 5 minutes
- Add lentils, broth, tomatoes and spices, increase heat and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes
- Add Swiss chard and with pot uncovered gently cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Take soup off heat and using an immersion blender, puree soup ever so slightly to add a creaminess without losing the texture of the lentils and vegetables.