Longer Reads

Hurry! Before Soup Season’s Over!

While there are many things I look forward to in the warmer months ahead (sunshine, skirts, flip flops, barbecues), one thing I will miss dearly is soup. Soup is my winter staple. It can be made healthy, easy, quick, and inexpensive. One pot feeds me and my husband for several days, and it’s a convenient way to get in lots of veggies at once. Oh soup, how I’ll miss you.

But soup season ain’t over just yet! There’s still time to sneak in some pots before the temp hits 70 degrees out there. So I am sharing one of my favorite lentil soup recipes with you tonight, because everyone should make this once before spring has truly sprung.

While this recipe is super easy, quick, and nutritious, it would be just another run-of-the-mill lentil soup if not for the addition of the luxurious saffron yogurt! That elevates it from regular soup to fancy, special soup. So don’t leave it out!

This is yet another fab recipe from 101 Cookbooks. I didn’t have kale or collards on hand so instead through in some spinach which was sitting in my fridge and it still came out delicious. Enjoy!

Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup Recipe
2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I like fire-roasted, if you can find them)
2 cups water
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped (I used spinach)

Saffron Yogurt
a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
1 tablespoon boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup 2% Greek Yogurt or whole, plain yogurt

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the saffron yogurt.

Serves 6 to 8.

Variations:

– You can serve it with a poached egg on top,
– or crunchy, fried shallots,
– with a drizzle of chive infused cream,
– or with chunks of tiny pan-fried butternut squash cubes.

– Make a thicker version by using just a bit of water, and then spoon it over an omelette in the morning.

– Have some cooked farro or wheat berries around? Toss some in. Millet might be good too.

– You can finish the soup by adding your favorite spices or spice blends. Smoked paprika, crushed chiles, toasted cumin, would all work nicely.