March 9, 2012

Red Lentil & Roasted Chestnut Soup

I'm taking a poll (over on the right sidebar) to see what percentage of people actually like V8 Juice.

That stuff stinks. Everytime I smell it, I think it will somehow smell better, but no. Occasionally, I take a tiny sip from the Bup's glass, forgetting how bad it was the last time. It's always horrible. I just can't handle drinking something savory.

I love soup, but I'm not a broth person. I like a thicker soup, so that I can have the broth in each spoonful instead of drinking it at the end.

The Bup would just drink broth. He has no trouble with drinking V8, plain tomato juice, or straight up broth. He'd probably love a Bloody Mary if he ever had the opportunity to try one. Me? I'll take a mimosa, thanks.

This soup tastes nothing like V8. In fact, if V8 tasted more like this soup, I might be able to drink it. The chestnuts add a hint of sweet to the soup & cut the tomatoes' acidity. The lentils add a thickness to the broth that I love. It's a very filling soup, perfect for warming up on a cold day.

A Few Notes:
  • I used the chestnuts that I roasted & froze in the fall, but you can purchase roasted chestnuts at the store.
  • If you don't want to buy fresh thyme or basil, you can use dried. I would use about 2 tsp. of dried thyme & 1 T dried basil. Start with a small amount & add more to taste.
  • You can easily halve the recipe. It makes a lot!
  • It would be delicious pureed as well, so if you like a smooth & creamy soup, cook according to the directions below & then puree using an immersion blender (after you remove the bay leaves!).
Red Lentil & Roasted Chestnut Soup
Adapted from Lidia
Serves 8-10

3 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1 28 oz. can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
3 quarts water
8 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 pound roasted chesnuts, quartered
1 pound red lentils
1 T salt
freshly grated parmesan (optional)

In a large pot (at least 6 quart in size), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic. Stir & cook until the garlic is lightly browned & fragrant. Remove thyme leaves from stems & add to pot along with the bay leaves. Cook for a minute to release flavors. Stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil & allow to cook for 2-5 minutes, to concentrate the flavors.

Pour in the water, basil & chestnuts, & return to a boil. Partially cover the soup, leaving room for steam to escape, & simmer until the chestnuts soften, about 1 hour.

Rinse the lentils. Stir them into the soup. Add salt & return to a full boil. Turn heat down slightly, cover, & cook at a low boil for 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaves.

Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with cheese if desired, & serve! 

1 comment:

  1. I love V8! I'd probably love bloody mary's also, but I've never had one. Judging from your poll results, The Bup and I are the only ones! I also love broth and would just drink it. However, if I want soup, it's good to have stuff in it. Your soup looks amazing, as always! :D


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