Wednesday, April 23, 2008

French Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon marjoram or oregano
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
1-1/2 cups French lentils (or common lentils)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon white miso paste
Juice of one lemon or lime
2 or 3 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and gently saute the
leek, garlic, and celery for 4 or 5 minutes; add parsley and carrots and saute for another 2 or 3 minutes until fragrant and golden.
2. Stir in tomato paste, maple syrup, bay leaf, marjoram and chile flakes and sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes.
3. Add lentils and water; bring to a gentle simmer. Cover pot and cook slowly over a low flame until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, blend the miso paste with a few tablespoons of the soup and stir into pot. Add a little water if soup is too thick. Taste to adjust seasoning.
5. Garnish each serving with fresh lemon or lime juice and a little chopped parsley or cilantro.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes