Since moving to New York at the end of January we’ve been through two snowstorms. I think I’ve had my fill and caught up from the snowless winters we experienced in Northern California.
The snowstorm wasn’t as bad as meteorologists had expected, in fact the NYT says the city narrowly escaped the worst of this storm. Regardless, it was a snow day which means it’s a great day for soup.
I’ve been wanting to redeem myself from a terrible lentil soup recipe I cooked from the internet – it was flavorless, one-noted and didn’t have any of the hearty goodness that seeps into your soul that soup, in my opinion is required to do. I have a great Indian-inspired lentil soup that is now my go-to, but I was looking for a more mediterranean-style without the warming spices. After comparing notes and melding together several recipes the frankenstein recipe was satisfaction and full meal in a bowl.
If I have the time, I generally like to tackle a particular dish by researching several different recipes and notice the template and variations in ingredients. When I feel the groove or essence of the recipe I use what I like or have in my kitchen to make it my own. Do you cook like this too?
Here’s the recipe for lentil and mushroom soup. I used green lentils because it’s what I had on hand. It’s chewier than red lentils which I liked for this recipe. The bite of the lentils and softness of the vegetables was a nice contrast in texture. I also used cremini mushrooms, but you can use any mushrooms you like – chanterelles were used in the Green Kitchen Stories Version.
Note: Add some lemon juice or vinegar of your choice to this soup. The acid kicks up the flavor and cuts the richness from the pancetta and mushrooms. I started with about a spoonful and continued to add to taste.
Lentil and Mushroom Soup
- 4 oz of Pancetta (diced)
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 carrots sliced
- 3 celery stalks sliced
- 3 – 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups of chopped mushrooms of your choice
- 1 cup of lentils ( I used green lentils) washed and rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 48 oz of chicken broth (or vegetable broth, your choice)
- In a large heavy pot (such as a dutch oven) book up the pancetta until it turns golden brown and crispy about 4 minutes
- Add diced onions, sliced carrots, sliced celery and minced garlic. Saute all together until fragrant
- Add mushrooms and saute stirring occasionally
- Season with salt and pepper
- Add lentils and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer and stir occasionally for about 20 minutes until the lentils soften
- Serve with celery leaves or parsley to garnish
The recipe was adapted from Green Kitchen Stories, Once Upon a Chef and Three Many Cooks.
Definitely looks like a savory dish for a cold day!