I have previously posted about how I am becoming better acquainted with lentils. Since they pack such a nutritional punch, I decided to try adding them to a tomato soup recipe. My hope was that the resulting soup would pass muster not only in my household, but also with some of my friend’s children.
My first attempt at this soup was served “rustic style”. I cooked the lentils with the vegetables and served it up with all of them intact. My daughter complained that when I told her I was making a tomato soup, she pictured something without chunks. I realized that she probably had a point. My solution was to stick my immersion blender into the pot of soup and blend it, but I had used brown lentils. I won’t put a picture of the soup here, but it didn’t look very appetizing. In fact, it looked like something that had already traveled through the digestive tract. Since we eat first with our eyes, I couldn’t promote this ugly soup.
Undeterred, I returned to the drawing board. The second time, however, I used red lentils. This worked out very well. First, the red lentils cook more quickly than brown lentils, and they practically fall apart when fully cooked. This makes them great for thickening soups and stews. The resulting soup was pretty and delicious. Sue Chef gave it her seal of approval. The next test was when I served some up to a friend’s son and grandson. Both of them devoured the soup. I considered that a success.
To make this soup come together quickly, chop your vegetables while the lentils are cook ing. When you do this, the vegetables are ready to go into the pot as soon as you remove the lentils. Once the soup has finished cooking, puree it with an immersion blender or puree it in batches in your blender. Be very careful when pureeing hot soup in a blender. Use a towel over the closed lid to prevent spillage. You can be easily burned by escaping soup. Once the soup is pureed, ladle it into serving bowls.
There are several recipes for creme fraiche available on the internet. There’s even a recipe for a cashew creme fraiche for those who prefer to eat vegan.
The soup, without the creme fraiche, freezes well. Here’s the recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3½ cups tomato puree IIf you can't find tomato puree, you can substitute crushed tomatoes)
- 4 cups vegetable stock (If you don't have vegetable stock, you can use the appropriate amount of vegetable flavored "better than bouillon" mixed with 4 cups water.)
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ cup creme fraiche (optional. You can substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream if you can't find or don't want to make Creme Fraiche,)
- Sort lentils and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes then drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in the bottom of a 3 quart sauce pan.
- Add chopped onions and saute 5 minutes until onion is translucent
- Add carrot and saute 3 more minutes
- Add tomatoes, lentils, broth, and bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer
- Simmer for 20 - 25 minutes until everything is soft.
- Puree with an immersion blender of in small portions in a blender.
- Serve topped with a tablespoon of creme fraiche.