I know I have mentioned a cookbook I love- The Good Carb Cookbook. I saw this recipe and thought it sounded interesting, though I have limited experience eating lentils and that experience was NOT a pleasant one! So today as the weather has definitely changed, I decided would be a great time to try this out on the family. We were not disappointed! In fact, Sam ate two servings (small ones, but hey!) as did Joe and I. Conveniently the store had marked down their foccacia rolls, and they were a match made in heaven! The really nice thing is that this whole meal probably cost less than a latte!
Here it is, I highly recommend trying this one!
Tuscan Lentil Soup
3/4 c brown lentils, picked thru and rinsed
1/3 c brown rice
4oz mushrooms, rough chopped
1 c chopped celery, including leaves (yummm!)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 zucchini, diced (this was my addition, I am trying to get more veggies!)
1 tbsp crushed garlic
beef bouillon granules to make 4 cups broth
2 tsp Tuscan seasoning (I have a little grinder that has sage, bay, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 cups water
1 quart jar tomatoes, crushed in juices
3 c packed fresh spinach (I used 1 cup frozen and will use more next time)
2 tbsp olive oil
Parmesan or Asiago cheese
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a big soup pot (at least 4 qt) over medium-high heat until rippling. Toss in the chopped veggies (except tomatoes and spinach) and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes until tender, then add in the rice. Cook stirring often for a few minutes to slightly brown the rice, then add in the spices and lentils. Pour in the water and the bouillon and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 40 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes (and frozen spinach if using) and cook another 20-30 minutes until lentils are tender and the liquid is thick. Add in the fresh spinach and remaining oil and cook another minute or two to wilt the spinach.
Serve topped with grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese and a nice crusty bread! This also paired nicely with a new pinot noir we tried- Scarlet of Paris.