The weather the past few days has been cold, damp and snowy at times and I thought it was a good idea to put up a pot of soup the other morning. I’ve have, since 1997, a cookbook by Arthur Schwartz called Soup Suppers. In it, there is a wonderful recipe for lentil soup with fennel and sun-dried tomatoes.
A little history on Mr. Schwartz. Back in the 90’s Arthur was the radio host of a show called “Food Talk.” He was also a restaurant and food critic at the New York Daily News. Arthur has written cookbooks on topics such as Italian food, Jewish cooking and the food of New York City to name a few.
This recipe for the lentil soup is from his Soup Suppers cookbook. The vegetable based soup includes onions, garlic, fennel, one pound of dried lentils and sun-dried tomatoes. All these ingredients were purchased at Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck, NJ.
It took approximately one half hour to prep the vegetables and start the soup before it could simmer for two hours. The onions were chopped and sautéed in some olive oil. While that was cooking, I began to dice the fennel, chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and mince the garlic. Once the onions were softened, I was able to add the garlic for a 30 second sauté. Next the balance of the ingredients, lentils, tomatoes, water and seasoning were added. My soup simmered for approximately 2-1/2 hours so as to allow the lentils to soften.
After the soup has cooked and lentils soften, the recipe calls for putting approximately 2 cups of the lentils through a food mill. I found this rather difficult, even though the lentils were soft. I used my blender instead and the purée setting. Once I puréed the lentils it was back into the pot. The seasoning was perfect. My husband and I had cup of soup before our supper last night and it was delicious. The sun dried tomatoes gave the soup a nice rich color. The soup was lighter tasting than the type you purchase in a can. Overall, it was a perfect starter to dinner and a great way to warm up on cold evening.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.