Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lentil and Swiss Chard Tomato Soup

The thought process that goes behind my soups/stews is usually based around 1-2 ingredients and what I think will taste good with them. Sometimes I just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and keep tasting it until makes me happy and other times I plan it out a bit more.

This time I knew I wanted to make lentil soup and I was trying to think of what vegetables I wanted to include before I took a trip to the store. My mom is always talking about swiss chard and I liked it when I have had it stir-fried, so I thought I would give it a try. I really liked it with the lentils and the sweetness of the stems really worked well with the spices. I don't usually add cumin and curry to much other than of course cumin in chili, but I knew they would taste good with lentils and I was in the mood for something a little different from my usual style.  If I was making it somewhere else I might have added more curry powder, but I was worried about my stinking up my apartment. The curry flavor does stand out, but is certainly not over-powering and did not leave a lingering curry smell in my kitchen. I was a little nervous about the dill, but I have heard it pairs well with cumin, so I tested it out on a small amount and liked what it added to the soup so I added more!

Lentil and Swiss Chard Tomato Soup
How I Did It:

2 - 32 oz veggie broth
2 cans 28 oz San Marzano diced tomatoes
1 cup barley (pearl)
1 1/3 cup lentils
4 carrots, chopped
1 stalk leeks, chopped
1 stalk celery heart, chopped
1 bunch swiss chard, ripped into pieces
5 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
4 tsp garlic
4 tsp dill
3 tsp oregano

1. Pour broth and diced tomatoes into a large pot. Bring to a gentle boil and add barley and lentils and half of the spices. Cover and cook while preparing your vegetables.

2. Add carrots, leeks, celery, and swiss chard. Stir in well and the rest of the spices. Stir and cover.

3. Continue on medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are desired texture. Sure immediately and store remaining soup in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for later enjoyment. 

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