Citrus Lentil Soup
I created this Citrus Lentil Soup recipe for a close friend of mine who adores lentil soup but prefers it with a strong twist of lemon and lots of mint. Since everybody likes their lentil soup a bit differently, I figured a great compromise would be to serve wedges of lemon and extra chopped mint on the side.
Makes 1 Medium-sized pot (serves ~6 as side soup or 3 as main course)
3 tablespoon olive oil
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large (~1 cup) celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
7 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups lentils (any color but red), rinsed and drained
2 small tomatoes, diced
5 bay leaves
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (per serving)- about 2 small lemons for the entire pot
1 large handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped to garnish
In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Sauté the garlic, onion, celery and carrot until just lightly browned, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the broth, lentils, tomatoes and bay leaves, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pot and simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Stir occasionally while lentils are simmering.
If you prefer your soup to have a thin consommé texture, you can skip this next step and go on to the seasoning step. Otherwise, transfer about 2 ladles of the soup (without bay leaves) into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Carefully pour the puréed soup back into the pot and stir gently to combine.
Add the salt and pepper, stirring again to thoroughly mix.
Before serving, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the soup and garnish with chopped mint leaves. If you’re not serving the entire pot of soup, make sure to mix in lemon juice only into portions being served.
Tip: If you have leftovers and go to reheat the lentil soup the next day and find that it’s too thick, you can just add another cup of broth to thin it out. Taste it before serving as you may have to add just a pinch of salt to make up for the extra liquid.