Lentil Soup (Laurie Colwin)

Also see her recipe for Mulligatawny Soup!

1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
8 cups chicken broth
1 carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme (or ¼ teaspoon, dried)
1 boiling potato, diced
1 rib celery
1 cup sliced string beans

Ingredients for variations
1. Double smoked bacon, veal bones and a couple of short ribs
2. chopped spinach, cream, or yogurt
3. broccoli rabe

Simmer the lentils in the chicken broth along with the carrot, garlic, onion, bay leaf and thyme for about 45 min. add the potato, celery, and string beans, and simmer for about 15 min. more, until the vegetables are tender. Discard the bay leaf. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

Colwin adds: “I usually double the recipe, but use only 12 cups of broth. I prefer the thicker texture.” Colwin suggests variations – double-smoked bacon sautéed with the onions, then added along with a few veal bones with marrow (sawn into pieces by the butcher) and a couple of short ribs, “…tons of fat”; a purée of lentil soup with chopped spinach, spiked with a little cream or yogurt, is heaven; and for those who adore the pungent, bitter, wonderful flavor of broccoli rabe, a piping-hot lentil soup with some of that long-cooked green mixed in is divine.“


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