When fall and winter roll around, I would pretty much be happy as a clam eating soup every day. Brothy soups, creamy soups, soups with grains, meaty stews, it doesn’t matter. I love them all. I’ve got so many soup recipes I love, but I’m always looking for new ones. (Sidenote–Now that evening temperatures are soupworthy, would anyone be interested in a round up of my favorites?)
From the first time I saw this recipe in the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, I knew I wanted to make it. Lentils–an ingredient I don’t use nearly enough–are hearty and filling without being weighty. Cauliflower has been one of my favorites since I was a kid and melty, gooey, browned Gruyere? Forget about it.
The recipe came together in no time flat, which makes it ideal for a busy weeknight. While the soup is simmering away, just toast up some bread and put together a simple salad and you’ve got one heck of a dinner. By simply swapping out the chicken broth in the original recipe for vegetable broth, this dish made for a perfect seasonal Meatless Monday meal. Without the Gruyere, it would be vegan, but I can’t speak to that because I just love cheese too much!
Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Gruyére
from Martha Stewart Living, November 2013 (online recipe here)
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 c.)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 c.)
1 medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 c.)
3 sprigs thyme, plus more for garnish
coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 c. dried brown lentils, rinsed and drained
4 c. vegetable broth
1/2 head cauliflower, cored, trimmed, and cut into small florets (about 3 c.)
3 oz. Gruyére, shredded (Parmesan would also work)
1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.
2. Add lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
3. Stir in cauliflower pieces and increase heat to medium-high. Simmer until cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Meanwhile, preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from top. Divide soup among 4 heatproof handled soup bowls or ramekins and top with cheese. Broil until golden and bubbling, 3-4 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings