Sunday, March 31, 2013

"The Book of Soups" - Rosemary & Lentil Soup

Date I made this recipe:  March 25, 2013

The Book of Soups by Lorna Rhodes
Published by:  HP Books
ISBN:  0-89586-818-0
Recipe:  Rosemary & Lentil Soup – p. 52

When I was a smoker, I used to joke that if you want the bus to come, you just need to light up a cigarette and voila – bus!  With spring looking like it would never arrive, I did the same thing with soup:  make a pot of soup and voila – spring!

I made this soup just before the weather turned on us in a good way and temperatures started to spike upwards of 40 degrees again.  In a matter of a couple days, most of the snow had melted and most of the grass is now exposed waiting to green up.  It’s almost, but not quite, time to walk outside again (mud puddles discourage that activities) and life is good.  And so is this soup.

There are a few spring or summer soups in this book that I could have made; like Pistou (pesto and fresh vegetables), Summer Avocado Soup, Cream of Asparagus or even Gazpacho that I could have made but the problem is that even though temperatures are going up, spring vegetables are still a little hard to be found at this time of year.  And so we made the rosemary and lentil.

This soup requires overnight soaking of the lentils so be prepared to get that done, but once you start cooking it, it takes no time at all.  And it comes with little meatballs and who doesn’t like that.  My only complaint about this soup is that it says “serves 6” but that is only realistic if one is doing soup shots or feeding elves.  If you are using larger soup bowls like we did, I’d say you’re going to get 3 soup bowls and that is it.  Just so you know….

This book is also from my late friend, Carol “Tall” Voight’s, collection and I uncovered it by accident when showing some of my cookbooks to a friend who stopped over.  Since that day was rather chilly, I moved this to the front of the pack.  But that said, I want spring and really want summer and so I hope this is the last of the cold-weather food I’ll be preparing until fall arrives.

Rosemary & Lentil Soup – makes 6 servings
6 ozs. green lentils, soaked overnight
7-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 medium-size potato, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
Large fresh rosemary sprig
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional fresh rosemary sprigs to garnish
Sausage dumplings
3 ozs. pork sausage
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon mixed herbs
½ small egg, beaten (break the egg into a measuring cup and pour out what you need)

Drain lentils and place in a large saucepan.  Add stock and slowly bring to a boil.  Skim off any scum which rises to surface and simmer 15 minutes.  Add potato, celery, garlic and large rosemary sprig.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer 30 minutes.  Remove rosemary sprig.  In a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a blender, process mixture to a puree.

Clean pan and return puree to pan.  Slowly reheat while preparing dumplings.  Combine all dumpling ingredients in a medium-size bowl. When soup simmers, drop spoonfuls of dumplings into soup, keeping them apart.  Cover and cook soup 15 minutes.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

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