Meatless Monday–Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Gruyére

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 gruyere cauliflower

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 

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  1. Josie
    October 29, 2013 / 1:11 am

    Same as you, I added it to my menu as soon as I saw it in MS Living. We're having it tomorrow night, and I can't wait! 🙂

  2. Sarah Cook
    October 29, 2013 / 4:40 am

    This looks amazing! That cheese is on top is calling my name…

  3. Anonymous
    October 29, 2013 / 4:32 pm

    Sounds amazing, and I was just thinking about lentil soup. And I would love a round up of your favorites … I am in love with all soups and stews.

  4. Natalie
    October 31, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    bookmarked! love everything about this!

  5. ErinsFoodFiles
    November 4, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    I would love this! However I just don't think I could get Nathan on board with it. 🙁 I might just make it anyway!

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