Lemony Lentil Soup

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When I was still living in New Jersey, Spring meant I was in the kitchen even more than I already was. You would be able to find me either  laying on the hammock or in the kitchen cooking with summer’s freshest veggies and devouring freshly churned ice cream. This past Sunday reminded me of the start of the season back on the east coast, when you would get as excited to just be outside as a child on Christmas Eve. I miss the cherry blossom trees blooming, filling the warmer days with sweet smells of a garden. Through dusty desert winds I’m longing for the green and liveliness of Spring, plus I’ve taken the effort to buy good quality, and local food, so I need to put it to good use. What better inspiration than looking through one of my favorite cookbooks by Sophie Dahl, her photographs alone make you feel like you’re walking through an English garden, but then her food just looks effortlessly delicious and good for you…which it is! I’ve been craving comfort food, but it’s been a little crazy at work, and there isn’t all that much time to make lunch, so soup it is! IMG_6124Definitely a filling lunch, a good and bag thing when you’re busy at work because boy have I been needing coffee come 3 o’clock for the past two days! What I really enjoy about this soup is that it’s not heavy, like your typical lentil soup (a reason why it’s not one of my favorites) but yet still keeps you satisfied and hunger free.IMG_6126 IMG_6129 IMG_6138 Oh, and did I mention the 3 lemons! I find lemons to be one of the most refreshing ingredients, it’s no surprise I put it on just about everything and why I needed to make this soup.  IMG_6144IMG_6147 IMG_6199Next week is even busier, might have to try out a chilled soup… IMG_6202

Lemony Lentil Soup

Ingredients {Recipe Adapted from Very Fond of Food}

2 cups – Red Lentils

5 cups –  Stock {I actually used water in my soup, but feel free to use any flavor you’d like}

3 – Bay Leaves

3 tablespoons – Olive Oil

1 tablespoon – Minced Garlic

2 large – Celery Stalks {finely chopped}

1 tablespoon – Ground Cumin

Juice of 3 Lemons

Salt and Pepper {to taste}

1 cup – Water

2 cups – Fresh Spinach {coarsely chopped}

1/2 cup – Freshly Chopped Cilantro

Recipe {Makes 6 servings}

In a large saucepan, cover the lentils and bay leaves with the 5 cups of stock {or water if using instead} and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over low heat, uncovered until the lentils are very soft. {about 30 minutes}
While the lentils cook, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and celery, cooking for about 2 minutes, add in the cumin and other tablespoon of olive oil, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add this mixture and the lemon juice to the cooked lentils. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste. {I added a bit of jalapeno hot sauce for a kick}
Allow everything to cool for bit before pureeing it in the blender. You’ll have to divide the mixture in two batches. adding the  extra water to get the desired consistency. I like a more liquidy soup, so I usually add more water. Pour the soup back into your large saucepan, add the spinach and half the cilantro, reheat, and season to taste.
A freshly squeezed lemon and a sprinkling of the remainder cilantro makes this a perfect lunch to enjoy on the balcony.


3 thoughts on “Lemony Lentil Soup

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