There are just certain facts about yourself that are known entities. For example, I’ve always hated mushy cooked carrots (unless they are sweetening up a soup). I function most effectively with everything in its place. My favorite drink is a Negroni; I refuse to pick a favorite color. Chocolate is my favorite food group. Spending time with people I enjoy is always an option. And I have a passion for photos that cannot be satiated. It’s just a fact. I love pictures; I always have. And if you were to scroll through my photo roll on my phone camera you would find that nearly 1/3 of them are food photos.
I’ve never aspired to be a photographer, but at my core I love story telling either with words or pictures. Actually, I collect both words and pictures in the form of quotes, stories, images and recipes –these are a few of the things that captivate me. I once read a quote about photos that I loved: We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone. Perhaps this is why I remain so infatuated with images.
Recently I was asked to share a recipe for my lentil soup. As I started to rattle it off, thinking it is really nothing exceptional, I realized just how special it really is. It’s a recipe that my Grandmother used to make me, and it’s one of the first things I learned to make while away at college. It was also the precipice to my being able to turn whatever was in the fridge into an amazing soup.
At its essence, soup is forgiving. The longer it sits and bubbles the more the flavors set-up into a delicious broth. A slight shift in spices and this soup takes on an entirely new identity. But the beauty of this soup is its simplicity in ingredients and preparation.
The sweetness of the carrots and onion tend to make the lentils come alive with nothing more than salt, pepper and olive oil.To make this bowl of soup a bit more robust just add in some cooked pasta.
Simple Lentil Soup
1/2 large yellow or white onion, chopped small
1 TBS olive oil
2 medium size carrots, cleaned and chopped small
1 bag of dry lentils
2 boxes of vegetable broth
4 cups hot water
1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 box small macaroni pasta, cooked separately and added to soup if desired (optional)
This soup is best if made the day before serving.
In stock pot sweat onions in olive oil, when soft add carrots, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Then add in lentils and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add broth and bring to a vigerous boil, slightly covered for 15-20 minutes. Add 4 cups water, salt and pepper to taste and simmer on low for a few hours. When reheating add in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. A little extra cheese can be added when serving and if you want you can also make and add some small macaroni pasta to the soup. Enjoy!