Thursday, November 6, 2008

Phenomenal Lentil Soup

Did I just say LENTIL soup is yummy? It absolutely is. It freezes well, keeps quite a while in the fridge, and has a savory heartiness that satisfies your hunger.

In fact, I brought some to work and Kevin S. ate some and said:
"You're the best, this stuff is phenomenal!" (that's where the title of the post comes from)
to which I replied, "And who'd a thunk that it was super healthy, too!"
He responded, "No kidding, I still don't believe that."

So there you have it. A meatatarian has pronounced lentil soup as good enough to eat. Just so there is no confusion, my husband Kevin did not say that. He won't touch this stuff. Kevin S. is a coworker. But Kevin my husband is missing out on oh-so-much delight, waiting to happen right in his mouth.

When you are making this, the saffron yogurt is really worth the effort of finding some saffron. If you make it in advance, the yogurt will take on more color and turn a rich yellowish orange. Get Spanish saffron but not Mexican saffron. I don't know what the difference is, but the Soup Peddler said it, so it must be true. In the cities, go to Trader Joe's for super cheap saffron.

Here is the pot of soup right before I added the kale.

And here it is when it is finished and screaming to be scooped into your bowl and eaten just as quickly as possible.

Lentil Soup

2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 handful dried food storage onions (or saute 1 chopped onion)
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
2 T beef bouillon
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped

Saffron Yogurt
pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
1 tablespoon boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils are cooking (or the night before if you think about it), make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.

In a heavy soup pot over medium heat, add the onions, salt, tomatoes, lentils, and water and cook for a few minutes, letting the soup come to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of the saffron yogurt.

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