Pasta & Lentil Soup
My wife and I were sitting around the other day and talking about new ways to introduce healthier foods in our routine. It's always a great idea supplementing your daily meals with healthy, fresh ingredients, especially when you're induldging in baked goods made for the house and put on the blog. So we talked about our favourite ingredients that we don't use as often as we should. Things like legumes and root vegetables.
I love legumes. I especially like lentils and yet I've completely neglected them recently. It wasn't that long ago when I first fell in love with them and seemed to be experimenting with them all the time. I used them as a side dish with herbs and a yogurt sauce to accompany salmon. I've made them with chorizo in soups and added them in salads. It's time to bring it back again.
I started strumming through my food journal. The one downside of using the journal is remembering where I made note of something. My writing is difficult to read, even for me, so that doesn't help the fact. Either way, I finally came across a soup that I made once before and thoroughly enjoyed. Pasta and Lentil Soup that was filling and flavourful. It wasn't the prettiest looking soup, but it was as tasty as one can be. It's Italian and the perfect lesson in simple and fresh being enough.
I love coming home after being at work during the day, grinding out a living. I walk through the front door and exhale. I smell the warmth drifting from the fireplace upstairs and my family greets me within moments. It's still cold outside and at times when the wind picks up it feels like it pushes back against you. Forceful and direct. On these days, I turn to big batches of soup to keep us warm and to wrap us up.
I pour a glass of wine and sink into a conversation about life. The soup simmers away on the stove and my wife and I reconnect after a day apart. It's the beginning of a wonderful routine, a beautiful process. We sit at our table with the lights dimmed and talk over a hearty and healthy bowl of soup and say a toast and indulge in the moment.
We drop our spoons in the broth and haul in a fistful of goodness and relax in the comforts of home. Each and every bite is as much about the company and conversation as it is the food. The food connects us and carries us forward. We dance this ritual every day of our lives and the food can change or the ingredients swap but the result is always brilliant. Switch out the pasta for root vegetables or the light broth for a heavier stock and it's the same lovely result. Delicious.
This is also a great soup for storing for leftovers. It's simple to reheat for lunch, drizzle some good quality olive oil over top, season it and serve with some broken up pieces of crusty bread. And steal another moment. Together.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Pasta and Lentil Soup
- 200 grams of lentils
- 1 large shallot, cut in half
- 1 celery stalk, cut in thirds
- 1 bay leaf
- a handsome drizzle of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- splash of Extra-virgin olive oil
- 250 grams plum tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. thyme, chopped
- 4 cups of chicken stock (or two cups stock, two cups water)
- 200 grams tube pasta or small pasta
- Cook the lentils and the first set of ingredients in salted water until the lentils are soft, about 25 minutes. Drain and throw away everything but the lentils.
- Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat in a large pot for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the pasta and water, if necessary, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serves 6.