As the weather gets cooler, the desire to make soup haunts me. Lentil soup is one of my favorites. Its simple comfort is warming, filling and really inexpensive. The recipe below makes a large batch and tastes even better the next day.
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 c. dry lentils
8 c. water
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
ground cayenne (optional)
In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in lentils and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least one hour. Remove bay leaf and season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Steve and I differ regarding the pronunciation of bruschetta (ok, actually it’s an ongoing subject of debate). He, favoring the English pronunciation, says “broo-shetta.” I, on the other hand, prefer the Italian “broo-sketta.” Both are correct (I suppose). However you pronounce it, bruschetta is a wonderfully light and deliciously quick snack, appetizer or last minute party fare.
This morning after church, we threw together this combo served with toasted day-old olive loaf from Lily’s. All the other ingredients were either in the pantry or fridge. This gave us a chance to use one of the beautiful tomatoes we purchased yesterday from the State Farmers’ Market (25 lbs – 35 tomatoes - for $14).
1 ripe tomato (a couple of cups chopped)
1 can black olives
2 tbsp. capers
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil.
Chop the tomato & olives and stir together with the other ingredients. Yep, that’s it. Slice whatever bread you choose thinly, drizzle with olive oil and broil on high until golden (be sure to keep an eye on this as it will brown quickly and I can’t tell you how many times I have burned the bread). Serve the bruschetta mixture heaped generously on toasted bread. Steve’s favorite part is the liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Spoon lots of this onto your bread or dip freely into it.