Soups of Winter #1

I’m planning to make soups frequently this winter, with an emphasis on healthy vege-based lunches.

First up is Cauliflower and Lentil Soup, from Martha Stewart.  The original recipe is grilled to serve with gruyere cheese, but I left this bit out in the interest of a heathier lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cored, trimmed, and cut into small florets (about 3 cups)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add lentils and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in cauliflower, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer just until cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove thyme; season with salt and pepper.

I used a can of lentils, which sped things up a bit.  There were 2 chicken carcasses in the freezer so I made chicken stock rather than substitute for vege stock.  I also used the Jamie Oliver trick of taking about a third of the soup out, then blitzing that with the Bamix before returning to the main pot.  The resulting soup has some rustic chunkiness, but some creaminess as well.

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