Heartwarming Lentil Soup

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There was a time, long ago and far away, when Kitchenclown’s sister, Catherine, refused to share things with her punk sister, moi. We’re all grown up now, and one of the things I love about my dear sister, is the fact that now she willingly shares her secrets, and triumphs in the kitchen. Like me, she is a fanatical foodie , and a fabulous cook to boot! So, when she called me the other day, raving on about this soup, I asked if she would share. She happily obliged, and I immediately marched my clownish self into the kitchen to make a pot of this magic, and to see if it was worthy of the incessant raves. I’m happy to report that her raves were warranted. She has yet to fail me, because she definitely knows a good thing when she sinks her fangs into it! So, be kind and share this outstanding soup with familly and friends on a cold winter’s day. You will warm their hearts and they will love you for it! Thank you, thank you, thank you dearest Catherine, for warming mine!

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

8 to 12 oz. mushroons, sliced

1 cup dried French lentils

1 can fire roasted tomatoes

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

4 to 5 cups home made chicken stock

3 cups dark leafy greens, such as spinach or swiss chard, roughly chopped

1/2 cup flat-leafed Italian parsley, minced

1 to 2 Tablespoons toasted cumin seeds, ground. ( I used almost 2, because I’m a cumin junkie).

1 generous teaspoon ground coriander

salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

1 1/2 cups diced potatoes, shredded chicken, sliced Italian sausage, or turkey kielbasa.

Directions:

Saute onions and carrots in oil until tender, 8-10 minutes.Add garlic and mushrooms, and saute another 6 to 8 minutes. Add  cumin , coriander, salt, and pepper and saute 2 more minutes.Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, lentils, parsley, spinach or swiss chard, and any of the optional ingredients you choose to add. Continue to simmer, over low heat, stirring often, until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings Add more stock, if you prefer a thinner version. Toss in a loaf of crusty, cheesey garlic bread, and be prepared to be enamoured! Pour into warmed soup bowls and hunker down by the fire! Absolutely warming, delicious, and cuddly. Just like a winter food partner should be.

Yield: 6 healthy servings

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