Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lentil & Escarole Soup

Lentil & Escarole Soup

1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling over bowls of soup
1 med. Carrot, diced
1 med. Onion, diced small
1 med. Celery rib, diced small
6 med. Garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley leaves
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
8 oz brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 C homemade chicken stock or canned low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 parmesan cheese rind, about 4 x 2
1 head escarole (about 8 oz), cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
Ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Combine the oil, carrot, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, and 3/4 tsp salt in a heavy bottomed 6-quart pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, dramatically reduced in volume, and very lightly browned, 17-20 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the tomatoes, lentils, stock, 3 cups water, the bay leaves, and the Parmesan rind and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, partially cover and simmer until the lentils are soft, 1 to 1 ¼ hours.

Stir in the escarole and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately in warmed bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Source: Aunt Jill and Uncle Marc

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