Lentil Soup for Brothers

Music: In the Sun – She & Him (this comes out in late March but I just listened to it on Pitchfork thanks to Catherine).

James and his brothers have a lot of great stories from their youth. There are one of the few siblings I know that were totally in sync and can count the fights they’ve had on one hand.  James and Peter (before Paul was born) would play a game called “Pals”.  They couldn’t get enough of each other that they had to pretend they were friends – which, somehow, meant more to them than being brothers. I thought I would honor this special bond with a “brothers” meal because I don’t have siblings…I play a game where I pretend they are mine.

(Incidentally, my second favorite story of their growing up is the one where Peter brought James to school for show-and-tell…dressed in a cape. I mean, really).

I made a hearty lentil soup for them and I think I might add it to my weekly roster.  It was simple and delicious and (I hope) a real crowd pleaser. We served it with some homemade whole wheat bread and a chunk of Prima Donna, a hard cow’s milk cheese (type of Gouda) from the Netherlands. This recipe is a mix of Julia’s and my mom’s and something from Epicurious.

What you’ll need:

1 1/2 tbsp. of butter
1 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil
1 chopped shallot
1 1/2 cups of chopped onions
1 cup of chopped carrots (you could add more)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
3 tbsp. of flour
6 cups of chicken stock
15 oz. of crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. of fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp. of cumin powder (if you only have seeds you can grind them down)
1 1/2 cup of lentils
2 tsp. salt
  • Chop the veggies.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in Dutch oven or soup pot.
  • Cook over low heat for 15 minutes until veggies are tender.

  • Add garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
  • Blend in flour.
  • Add one cup of liquid until it is absorbed by the flour.

  • Add the remaining liquid and the tomatoes.

  • Bring to a simmer, then add herbs (bay, thyme, cumin, ginger).
  • Stir in lentils and salt.
  • Cook for 90 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • At the end, blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the soup with an immersion blender or by pouring soup into a blender.
  • Serve and garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan.


Filed under Food Anecdotes, Recipes, Soup

3 responses to “Lentil Soup for Brothers

  1. Monica

    Yum! I think I’ll give it a try!

  2. I’m on plated! I’m famous! Thanks for the link, guys. I’ll return the favor soon 🙂

  3. JESS!

    It was amazing-nourishing-good-old/new home cooking. Thank you so much.

    Also, we did fight sometimes, but we called it “little-man-fight” and it entailed me and James on our knees, wrastling like red-neck midget brothers. Paul never got to join in that fun, but James threw shoes at him while he snored in the bed (when they shared a room) just to make him feel like one of us.

    -Your Pal,

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