So long Summer and hello soup season. I love soup. During the cool months I usually have a pot cooking on the stove every Sunday. Soup makes for the perfect busy weeknight meal, satisfying lunch or even quick breakfast (yes I’m one of those leftovers for breakfast kinda people). Good ol’ Chicken Noodle, Curried Butternut Squash, Chicken-Corn Chowder and Lentil are a few recipes in my permanent rotation. I make my lentil soup with red lentils (rather than the traditional brown), carrots, lots of onion and a bit of bacon. I don’t imagine my kids would be compelled to dig into a big bowl of brown mush, no matter how much I assured them it was delicious, and the red lentils create a lovely soup in a kid-friendly shade of orange. But regardless of the type of soup on the menu, I always make homemade dinner rolls, cornbread or drop biscuits to go along side. There’s just something about freshly baked bread that can turn even a meal of leftovers into something special.
Red Lentil Soup
The consistency of this lentil soup is well, soup-like, rather than thick and stew-like as most lentil soups tend to be. However if you like yours thicker omit the two cups of water.
5 strips thick cut bacon, diced
2 large onions, chopped
4-5 medium carrots, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp. tomato paste
1 16 oz bag red lentils, rinsed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
7 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
- In a Dutch oven cook bacon over medium-low heat until browned and the fat has rendered, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bacon and set aside.
- Add onion, garlic and carrots to rendered bacon fat and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.
- Add lentils, thyme, broth, water and bacon. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cover; cook until lentils are almost done, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in salt, pepper and paprika and let finish cooking uncovered another 5-10 minutes. Fish out the thyme stems and serve.
*adapted from martha stewart
Homemade Herbed Drop Biscuits
These are terrific with the addition of fresh thyme, sage, basil or rosemary. Use whatever herbs you like most and happen to have on hand.
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl melt the butter. Whisk together the butter, milk, beaten egg and herbs and set aside
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry and blend with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Drop by the tablespoon full onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 15-17 minutes, until the tops have begun to brown. Serve warm with butter or cool and store in an airtight container.