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Lentil Soup Recipe
Render bacon or salt pork or don't. I did salt pork because it is cheaper and the only thing left at Wegmans other than super organic, applewood smoked, thick-cut fancy bacon made from pigs who maybe had more of their needs taken care of than like 15% of people in this country (a rough and generous estimate). You only need about 3oz. No pork: butter. Vegan: Oil! Really, you just need a fat. And the bacon fat is delicious.
Add about a cup each of celery, onions, and carrots or whatever soup vegetables your closing business is off-loading because the idea of food going to waste makes you cry in your car while driving. (just me?)
Once those soften a little, add about 3 cloves of minced garlic, if you're into that. Add more if you are super into it. Leave it out if you are cooking for my mother.
Once you can smell the garlic or until you wish you could smell the garlic you didn’t put in (that’s like 30 seconds in case your nose is still stuffy from your morning/afternoon weeping), then add a can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), and about 1 Tablespoon-ish of dried thyme. Unless you happen to have fresh thyme because you planted a mini herb garden for fun only to find out that growing your own food may be the only way to survive, in which case use more bc fresh herbs are a little less potent (facts). Also, if you forgot to stock your cabinets with canned tomatoes, just spend 1,100 hours cutting those cherry tomatoes that, somehow, have not gone bad since you bought them for a salad 3 weeks ago, into quarters and add a little more salt.
Anyway, that’s getting hot now, so go ahead and add 1 cup of dry lentils, some salt and pepper, any other spices you are into (Cumin is nice in there. So is fennel, but I don’t have any of that right now).
Stir it up. Pop on a lid. Turn it to like medium low and go cry in the bathroom or read 2 articles telling you the exact opposite information about how virus transmission works. (8-10 min).
Uncover, pour in about half a cup of the dry white wine you didn’t finish at breakfast and bring that up to like half boiling. After having a momentary argument with the recipe, which calls for 4 and a half cups of stock WHEN EVERYONE KNOWS that boxed stock typically comes in quarts so WHY WOULD I OPEN A WHOLE ‘NOTHER BOX just for one HALF A CUP you RIDICULOUS AND WASTEFUL RECIPE, add 4 cups of stock and 2 cups of water and another little bit of salt (don’t go overboard on the salt because you can’t take salt out and it will make you cry later when you realize that you have over-salted the whole thing and everything is ruined.)
Bring that all to a boil. Wonder why the recipe says, “partially cover” but do it anyway, and then set to simmer. Put on an episode of The Good Place. At the end of the episode (apx 30ish min), be careful not to just auto-play the next one because that show really does end at the exact right place to leave you so thirsty to watch the next one IMMEDIATELY. Then, check to make sure your lentils have softened up, but are not mushy, and still look like tiny pills or boring candy. If they are a wee bit crunchy, give em another few minutes. If they aren't holding their shape anymore, I told you to be careful not to let that next episode autoplay, but it will still taste fine.
Now here is the trick, take about a third of what is in that pot and throw it in a blender. Oh yeah, you are going to need a blender. Once you’ve turned some of that soup into a savory smoothie, pour it back into the pot with the rest and do not think about what that blended soup looks like… I said don’t think about it. You’re thinking about it. Don't have a blender? Fuck it, it'll still taste the same.
To finish, the recipe calls for about 1 1/2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, but I forgot I don’t have that and added about a tablespoon of white wine vinegar because it was in my cabinet and I like things to be a little on the acidic side.
NOW go ahead and salt to taste once it’s all cooked so that you don’t ruin it like you did that alfredo you made last week when you forgot that you're supposed to salt AFTER reducing.
I usually divide this soup up into servings and freeze it. So, when I heat it back up, I pour it over par-cooked/wilted/blanched kale. For me, it’s like gravy for my kale. You can also stir in some super greens/spinach/parsley. Whatever you are into or have on hand. Throw some rice in it! Pour it over Quinoa! Go wild! But also WASH YOUR HANDS AND RESPECT SOCIAL DISTANCING!
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