Provincial Style Lentil and Onion Soup

I’ve made this several times and it is always hearty and filling. Herbs De Provence is a french mixture of herbs. You can find it at most supermarkets in the spice isle these days. As soon as you add the spices to the soup the aroma becomes heavenly as the mixture of herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano, basil and lavender – plus a few more to boot)  floats from the soup pot.

This batch, I experimented with and decided to try adding some carrot. I’d have to say, I actually like the original recipe best. The carrot actually sweetened the soup a bit overmuch. I’m writing the recipe the correct way (sans carrot). Just don’t be surprised if your soup comes out a little less orange. Use a hearty vegetable stock (Trader Joe’s Hearty version is wonderful) and don’t substitute with chicken broth or stock. The vegetable broth works best in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large onion – chopped fine
  • 2 or 3 celery ribs – chopped fine
  • 2 large tomatoes – seeded and chopped into large slices, skin on
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 heaped tsp Herbs de Provence
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley – to garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until onions become translucent. Pick through your lentils and make sure there are not rocks or other debris. Rinse them and drain them. Add the drained lentils to the cooked onion and celery and cook for another minute or two.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, dried herbs and a pinch of pepper and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the tomato skins will have released, they can be fished out with a fork or chopsticks. Cover and simmer for another 20 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
  3. Blend with either an immersion blender or a food processor (in batches). Serve with fresh chopped parsley.
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