Perhaps in honor of the first day of autumn, the weather yesterday was perfectly conducive to soup making, so I got out the recipe for our very favorite lentil soup. It’s the “Rustic Lentil Soup with Spinach” from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen. Making this soup (and then eating several bowls of it) was a lovely way to spend a blustery afternoon.
If you want to do the same, first start by cooking up some onion, carrot, roasted red pepper and parsley in olive oil until the onion softens.
Next, and I think this may be the magical step, add some garlic, tomato paste and prepared mustard, stirring to coat everything. While the garlic and tomato paste are expected, the prepared mustard adds a wonderful complexity of flavor that I just love.
The recipe then calls for deglazing the pan with red wine, which probably tastes really good, but I just use broth. Next, put the lentils, broth and/or water and a bay leaf into the pot and simmer until cooked, adding salt to taste about half-way through the cooking process.
Once the lentils are fully cooked, adjust salt and add pepper. Then put some spinach in just until wilted (only takes a moment). Add a splash of red wine vinegar (another bit of magic, methinks).
So glad it’s soup weather!