Spinach and Lentil Soup

I'm always willing to try something new.

And, it's soup season bitches. So, let's all get on this carby liquid diet. Let's be real. I'll never be on a diet.

I first saw this soup on Feed Me Phoebe's blog soon after I got back from the pig roast in Vermont. Phoebe was part of the pig crew. You can see her in the YouTube video... and on a reality tv show called Chef Race.

The best part about this soup was that I had everything already in my kitchen except the lentils - which makes sense since I've never had lentils before. So I obviously went to my favorite cooking store - Polcari's Coffee - and said "I need some lentils yo". Well apparently there are different types of lentils. Who knew? The nice man told me they had French lentils and regular lentils. Apparently French lentils are more dainty and that seemed like a risk for a first go ... so I went with regular.
This soup is great for a few reasons. It is refreshing and filling without being filled with potatoes or meat. Plus it freezes really well. Which means.... HEY LENTIL SOUP FOR LUNCH AT WORK. This soup was the bright spot of my lunch at work recently.

I think the secret ingredient in this soup is actually the addition of the mustard. Now, let's be clear. I hate mustard. If you put it on my sandwich I will probably politely eat it as long as it is a thin layer. But if there is any measurable thickness to that mustard layer, I am running for the hills. That being said, I have had some amazing meals that include mustard ... it just needs to be sneaky. And this soup is sneaky. I advise you add the mustard slowly to get to the taste you are comfortable with .... but trust me, you will love it.

So, here's how it goes.

(Step 1) In your large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Then you are going to add the typical soup bizness to that pot. This means your onion, carrot, and celery. You want to cook this until it is soft... which will be between 5-8 minutes. It's not a science. You'll be fine.

(Step 2) Now add in your can of diced tomatoes. I only had a can on hand that contained Italian seasoning ... it worked out just fine. Use what you have - just be sure to add tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes or so in all the juices.
(Step 3) Now we get to add all the new ingredients like the bay leaf and lentils. Add to the pot the bay leaf, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, lentils, and stock. (I used 4 cups of vegetable stock, 2 cups of chicken, and 1 cup of water. But this is primarily based on what I had in the house.) 

(Step 4) Bring to the pot to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. The goal is to cook the lentils until they are al dente which is about 30 minutes with a partially covered pot. 

(Step 5) Give the soup a little tasty taste. Now, add in the mustard and any salt you feel is required. Despite my love of salt, I didn't need any which shocked me. 

(Step 6) Toss into the pot your chosen greens. I went with spinach that I casually tore up. Phoebe said you could also add arugula which might be nice as well. Give the pot a swirl or two... then eat.

Seriously, this soup is amazing. I mean look how hearty and delicious this is. Also, it made enough for two people and 3 lunches... which is a win in my book.

Shopping List
Olive Oil
Large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes, 15 oz size (I used Italian seasoned tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 C lentils
1 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups of stock (chicken, veggie, or water ... or a mix)
1 T mustard
2 cups of torn greens (baby spinach or arugula)

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