Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy New Year Lentil, Leek and Spinach Soup

I made this recipe a couple weeks ago, after all the parties settled down.  We had momentous milestones; Sarah's 21st, Moira turned 18, and I turned 39 (just kidding- 39+), not to mention Christmas and New Years.  Lentils came to mind today, because I made lentils again, and instead of spinach, I used some fresh chard I sauted with the veggie broth, oh, and I added some super hot peppers I chopped up fine, also from the garden from this summer and a little splash of balsamic vinegar.

This a a perfect go-to recipe for after the holidays.  It helped me clear out the fridge, and it's comfort food and seems like it's good for you, after all the rich holiday food.  I particularly like this picture, highlighting my new pottery Sarah made at school, and the Christmas lights dazzling in the window.

See that red pepper?  It was from the garden, amazingly, from this summer.  I think I harvested it at the end of November.  The cheese crusted bread adds a bit of specialness to the dish, making it a nice light dinner.

Serves 4-6
Great for leftovers too.
45-60 minutes start to finish

Lentil leek and spinach soup

1 pound dry lentils
1 onion, diced
2 leeks sliced and diced thin, the white parts
1 red pepper
2 carrots, diced small cubes
1 quart vegetable broth
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 bunches cleaned spinach

Cheesy bread

1 baguette sliced thin pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Rinse the lentils a few times, then bring the water to boil, about 6 cups of water.  Turn it down to simmer for another 20-30 minutes until the beans are just starting to soften, but not all the way cooked.  Drain out most of the water, and add the vegetable broth and bring to just boiling and turn it down.

While the lentils are cooking saute the onions, leeks, and carrots in the olive oil.  I like to start with the onions, and get them to caramelizing, then the leeks, just until they start to soften, and same with the carrots and peppers. 

Add the sauteed veggies and spinach to the lentils with broth.  In about 1-2 minutes the spinach will wilt and be perfect.

Cheesy Bread
spread baguette slices on a jelly roll pan
drizzle oil lightly over bread
salt and pepper bread
sprinkle with cheese
Broil for about 5-7 minutes until cheese starts to melt.
Serve with the soup.


  1. well if i wasn't already making cajun scallops with corn and pasta, smoked salmon sandwiches, and corn, shrimp and leek chowder this week i would definitely make this. maybe next week :) looks delish.

  2. Hi Sarah! I know. Isn't the bowl awesome?! I love the Christmas backdrop too.

    So, I've been on a greens kick lately. Different kinds of chard, kale, collard greens, and in this photo is the old standard, spinach. I've been using chard a couple of ways, it's tasty, and so dang easy. My main new twist is, greens and beans. Try chard and garbonzo beans. I've been doing the lentils too. 143!

  3. PS - thanks for the comment Sarah! I love getting them. :-)

  4. I was the originator of "greens and beans" cajun style, rememberrrr? :)

  5. um, ya! thanks for reminding me! you are so creative, thoughtful, innovative, beautiful and generous and smart and exude so much positive energy. I am so happy to be your dad. you make me love cooking.

    PS- did you see my other recipes??!