Lentil Soup

We took this lentil soup from ALTON BROWN and Orlando put his spin on it. He’s actually tried several different variations, but each time he tries to pile on more greens!! This is his latest and in my opinion, most delicious, twist.
*Every item marked is an Orlando addition or substitution.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • I finely chopped leek*
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
  • 1 tbsp teaspoon freshly ground Turmeric*
  • 1 cup of mushrooms*
  • 2 handfuls of spinach*
  • Chicken andouille sausage*

Directions:

Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery, leek and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.  Add the lentils, tomatoes,mushrooms, broth, coriander, cumin and turmeric and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 50 to 55 minutes. 3 minutes before the timer ends, throw in the Spinach. It will wilt in 3 minutes so you really want to avoid putting it in until the end.  Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately. Add cooked chicken andouille slices to the served plate.

A NOTE ON BLENDING: Consistency is a personal choice. Some people like the texture of the lentils, others like it thicker like a puree. I like the lentils, orlando likes the puree…therefore, we compromise. He puts half of the soup in our blender, blends and pours back into the dutch oven. That gives a little bit of both textures and it is DELICIOUS! But this is all a matter of personal preference.

Chicken Andouille: We slice the sausage down the middle and grill on our griddle. Then we slice it into small pieces and add to the meal. The soup can be eaten sans the sausage. We like it because it adds a spiciness to the soup that we enjoy and makes the soup more fillings. This too is a matter of personal preference.

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