I never got around to making lentil soup this winter. I always planned on it but never grabbed the ingredients at the store. A few weeks ago, a coworker was asking me about lentil soup and how I make it.... then I had to make it! I never had lentil soup until I spent a semester in Spain and my senora made it for us. And then when I worked in Boston a while ago, there was a bagel place that I had a delicious lentil soup as well. They had a perfect balance of lentils and vegetables and the broth was a nice thickness.
Hearty Lentil Soup
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
4-5 potatoes, 1/2 inch cubed
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 shallots, minced
a few swigs of balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (48 oz) low-sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
2 leaves swiss chard, chopped
1 tbsp thyme (fresh or dried; I used dried)
In a stock pot, add some olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add onion and sautee for 5 minutes, then add shallots in and sautee for another 5 minutes or until onion is golden. Add garlic, thyme and balsamic vinegar and stir for about 1 minute. Add in potatoes, carrots, lentils and chicken broth.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes and then toss in the chard. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add in salt & pepper as needed.