Stories of life in the suburbs with Husband and our daughter Squishy and son Button!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipes: Lentil Soup

The thing I've found out about soup is that it's generally a hodge-podge of different things, so I feel like a strict recipe isn't always required. I was making taking inventory of the refrigerator and pantry to make a solid grocery list. I found that I had small quantities of staple food items. I also keep chicken or beef broth around (for crock pot meals) and a bag of lentils. Why the lentils, you ask? When I find that my staple foods are running low, I jump on the opportunity to clean out the fridge and make some soup. Lentils have proven time and again to be a wonderful base for soup, especially lentil soup :-)

Clean out the Fridge Lentil Soup
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups broth (beef or chicken, or mixed)
1 red pepper, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
5 pieces of bacon
1T. fresh oregano, chopped
5 shakes Tabasco sauce
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. cumin*
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp. cayenne*
dash nutmeg*
dash white pepper*
salt and black pepper to taste*
*These are eyeball measurements, adjust if you want.

Cook the bacon until crisp, save the grease! Dice into large bacon bits.
Add bacon grease to soup pot, cook pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and onion until tender. 
Add oregano, Tabasco, dry spices, bacon bits, lentils and broth. 
Bring to a boil, stir. 
Reduce heat, simmer until lentils are tender. About 45 minutes. 
Adjust flavor to whatever you like. More pepper or salt? More spice? Make it yours! 
Blend the soup with a blender or food processor until smooth. Add flour to thicken (optional).

I encourage you to clean out your fridge and spend some time making soup. It's super good.
Simmering away...

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