Friday, September 18, 2009

A Potluck Dinner Invitation Contribution: Lentil Soup with homemade bread

Today, in reading the list of blogs that keep me informed and inspired, i found an entry about a woman have a potluck dinner, of sorts, for guests of her blog. It's a really grand idea, i think, because of all the potentially wonderful recipe ideas to be gleened from the experience!

So here are my two pence, as it were: a doctored up Lentil Soup recipe from WW (to make it more like my favourite lentil soup at my new favourite restaurant, The Comfort Food Cafe) and some delicious homemade bread from my friend, MacD's recipe stash on her blog (click"homemade bread" above to link to that recipe.)

Heck, some nights i might even throw in a roasted chicken a la Nigella. :o)

Lentil Soup

10 cups reduced sodium broth
1 pound lentils, French green variety if you can, as they hold their shape the best
carrots, chopped
leeks, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 c. crushed toms with basil
1/3 to 2/3 c. tom sauce (dependent on how tomato-y you like your lentil soups)
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
ground pepper
other fresh herbs (optional)
1 Tbsp olive oil

In olive oil, saute' the leeks (amt: to your liking--i used two the diametre of half dollars in this recipe), carrots (amt: to your liking, i used 6), bay leaf until leeks are wilted. Add lentils, and stir to coat with oil. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to bring a covered pot to simmering, for 30 minutes.

Stir in all the tom varieties, vinegar, pepper and other herbs you may like (i love the marjoram we grow around here, so i flood our soups, sauces, usw. with it.) At this point, check the thickness of your soup--if you like a thinner lentil soup, add up to a cup to 2 cups of water and adjust flavours accordingly.

Notes: I've tried the "Better than Boullion" instant stock--if using it, cut down to 8 cups and use plain ol' water for the rest, otherwise it's really ever too salty!

What's really handy too (especially if you have wee ones who might have rather wishy-washy views on lentils) is to roast up some of Nigella's's the jist from my blogpost about it:

"Basically, dressing your chicken how you like (evoo and herbs or citrus or garlic, what have you...), place it, covered with alum. foil tent, in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes per # + 10 minutes extra. After retrieving it from the oven, you let it to rest for 10 minutes before you carve it.

And the *WHOLE* trick to a moist and tender breast of chicken every time is:

roast it upside down--breasts on the bottom. "

Throw some of this chick in the lentils soup--nummy!

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