That title is no joke – last night I ate the best lentil soup I’ve ever had. Ever. Considering my insane love of soup, trust me when I say it’s a big deal.
I saw a Facebook friend of mine post a picture of lentil soup she was making the other day, and an intense craving was born. When I asked her for the recipe, she directed me to the recipe she used on Allrecipes.com and told me about the modifications she made. I looked at that recipe, and then went to Pinterest to see if I could find any variations that I liked better.
I settled on a recipe that I thought sounded the the tastiest. I then proceeded to make modifications to make it more suited to our particular tastes. Here is the recipe we ended up with:
- 2 tbs. Olive Oil
- 1 C. minced onion
- 3/4 C. diced carrot
- 2 c. while button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbs. minced garlic
- 1 lb. uncooked, loose sweet Italian sausage
- 1 C. diced ham (we used a ham steak, but a leftover hambone would be ideal)
- 7 cups chicken broth
- 7 cups beef broth
- 1 lb. dried lentils
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbs. vinegar
- 1 handful minced fresh parsley
- 1 handful minced fresh basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
(Pardon the blurry photos – it’s all on the hubby. lol)
Heat up Olive Oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot mushrooms and garlic.
Add sausage to the pot and saute for 8 minutes, stirring often. Break up sausage as it cooks.
Add ham and cook for an additional minute.
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Viola!
Follow this recipe and you are guaranteed an amazing lentil soup – rich, hardy, and very warming on a cold January evening. The red pepper flakes give it just enough extra heat to warm you right down to your toes.
A few caveats – the salt level may be a bit much for some people. With the broth, you can cut cut out the additional salt completely, or cut it down. I would suggest tasting it before you add the salt.
We agreed that the next time we made this we would definitely add more tomato – as is, the tomatoes dissolve and pretty much disappear in the soup – we would definitely like more. We also agreed some fresh celery tossed in would make a welcome addition.
Any way you may choose to modify it yourself, this is an amazing, flavorful lentil soup. We had it with a slice of thick white bread from our local bakery – outstanding 🙂