I've been watching and waiting for the temperature to get to where it's soup time and heck, I thought we were almost there. And, then, 75 degrees yesterday, hmmm not so much! A little better today... mid-60s.
Fine! I'll take it.
We'll start with something easy and so delicious. Greek Lentil Soup. Confession time: the thing that makes this soup Greek, is the red wine vinegar finish, everything else is pretty much Lentil Soup but you know what? sometimes that one ingredient is all it takes. So trust me on this, you want to add that vinegar.
Go get your favorite baguette, grab your cutting board and here we go!
2 cups dry lentils
1 large onion (chopped fine)
1 large or two medium sized carrots (chopped fine)
4-5 garlic cloves
5 bay leaves
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 and 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 quart water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
First, sort through the lentils (we use brown but any will do) and throw out any foreign matter (translation: pebbles. Where do those come from anyway?). Place in a pot of water (enough to cover the lentils) and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
Chop one large yellow onion, one large or two medium carrots and mince about 4-5 cloves of garlic.
Add the 1/2 cup of Oilladi to a heavy bottomed pot and saute the onion and carrots for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so or until all the veggies are soft and the onion is translucent.
Add the water, the lentils and tomato paste and stir well. Bring to a simmer and add the bay leaves, salt and pepper and simmer for 45 minutes. You shouldn't have to add any water but, as always, we advise you check the soup every so often, especially half an hour into the cooking time to make sure it's the consistency you like. We keep the cover on the pot on a slant so it's not quite sealed shut but not uncovered either.
Remover from heat and, if serving the entire batch at once, finish with the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Otherwise, you can serve and add a teaspoon of EVOO to the individual serving. For each bowl (you'll get about 8 generous bowls out of this recipe) add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.
Serve with your baguette and a green salad and enjoy!