I received the highest compliment today: “The lentil soup is so so good. I was shocked that even Hudson ate it! He is the pickiest eater ever. I would love the recipe for the soup.” You see, Hudson is 4 years old, and if I can help get a few bites of whole, nutritious goodness into a young man that age, and maybe even change how he feels about vegetables, then I have done my job. Here’s that recipe, Mom!
Green Lentil Soup with Spinach, Cilantro and Lemon
1 onion (yellow, white or brown), diced
4 stalks of celery, sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of green lentils
8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock or broth
4 cups of baby spinach
1 bunch of cilantro, stems removed, chopped
Juice of 1 or two fresh lemons
Olive oil, kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large stock pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to cooking temperature. Add the onions and cook for a bit, stirring, then the celery and carrots, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the vegetables until they start to sweat, and then add the garlic. Stir frequently to keep the garlic from burning, and continue to cook until the vegetables soften a bit. Add the thyme, bay leaves and tomatoes, season with a bit more salt and pepper, and stir, cooking the tomatoes for about 3 minutes.
Add the lentils, a bit more salt and pepper, and the stock and stir it all together. Bring heat up to high, and bring the soup to a boil. When it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the soup until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. When the lentils are done (you can tell by tasting them, they should be tender with a slight firm bite), season with additional salt and pepper to taste, stir in the spinach, cilantro and lemon. Taste again, adjusting any seasoning or lemon juice. Add additional olive oil if desired and serve or store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to a week.