My attempt to make an old favorite of mine, Lentil Spinach Soup, failed miserably due to the problem I had with the brown lentils turning purple. Since I don’t consider myself a chef, nor a basic chef for that matter, I was quite frustrated and wasn’t sure what to do since I had spinach and onions that I had chopped up for my soup that I felt I had to use.
I’m truly not sure what happened next as I normally have trouble cooking unless I have a recipe but a sudden sense of adventure surged up inside me. I took this surge in stride and went to the cupboard to see how I could salvage dinner without calling the pizza restaurant.
Inside the cupboard I found a large bag of unopened red split lentils. Hmmm, I wondered, are all lentils made the same? (The answer is no but I didn’t find that out until my cooking trial was over.)
This experimental soup was truly and my pulse quickened as I tried to figure out what I was doing not having ventured into the “try it and see” realm of cooking too often.
But I have to say — this soup was great!! I loved the texture and taste. My husband did not like the texture though. For me it felt so soft (can soup feel soft?) — I think the correct cooking term might be “velvety.” Well, try it. It had no hint of the lentils after I completed my experiment.
- 8 cups of water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 bag of spinach or 1 fresh bunch, chopped
- 4 medium red or Yukon potatoes, diced
- 2 cups of red lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- In a soup pot, add the water, red split lentils and the bay leaves then boil until the lentils are cooked — 20 to 30 minutes approximately
- In a skillet, add the oil and heat until bubbly
- Add the garlic to the oil and stir for a few seconds then add the onion and cook until they are translucent
- Turn your skillet heat to low, add the thyme and basil then stir
- In a medium sized pot, add the potatoes and water to just cover the potatoes. Allow the water to boil and cook the potatoes until a fork inserted in the middle of one of the diced cubes comes out soft then set this aside
- In the skillet, add half of the chopped spinach and stir until it’s mixed in well with the onion mixture
- Add the rest of the spinach and stir
- Once the lentils are cooked, lower the heat then add the cooked potatoes (including the water) and add the onion-spinach mixture that’s in the skillet
- Stir everything together and let it cook through for about 10 minutes
- Add the red wine vinegar to the soup and cook another 5 minutes
- When the soup is ready, taste and make sure the seasoning is to your liking, ie does it need more salt, thyme, basil? Let your palette be the judge. If you add more seasoning, allow a few minutes for them to cook through in the pot
- Let the soup cool for 10-15 minutes
- In a blender, add 1/4 of the soup and some of the yogurt then blend them together
- Continue adding soup then yogurt until you have a smooth consistency
As you combine the soup with the yogurt in the blender, use a large bowl to pour the readied soup into.
Once all the soup and yogurt have been combined, transfer the soup back to the pot and serve.
It really was delicious so enjoy!
What I learned:
- All lentils are not the same as the red split lentils cook quickly and can become mushy which is why I decided to blend the ingredients in a blender