Tomato-Lentil Soup

September is by far my favorite month. The suffocating heat of summer gives way to cooler mornings and evenings. It’s that magical time of year when I get to find out if I still fit into my jeans or not. This soup is a perfect blend of summer and fall, tomatoes are really ripening in the garden right now yet the lentils conspire to make this feel like a change of seasons.

I was planning on using the tomato harvest from my garden, peeling and seeding the tomatoes so I could use them in this soup. But then the rest of my life got in the way of that task and I compensated by opening a few cans. It doesn’t hurt the taste one bit. This soup is hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

The hardest thing about this recipe is chopping the onions and celery. However, the modern technology which has led to the invention of pre-chopped produce available in many grocery seems to be made with busy moms in mind. No chopping-no problem. I used cans of plum tomatoes and it came out great. While this recipe takes over an hour to make, much of that time is spent simmering which will leave you with plenty of time to nurse.

Tomato-Lentil Soup

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cans (35 oz) plum tomatoes with their juice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup dried lentils
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add the onions and celery stirring over low heat until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 minutes

Puree the tomatoes with their juice in a blender. Add to vegetables.

Add the chicken stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add ½ cup parsley, wine, garlic, pepper, salt, and cloves. Stir well and simmer another 25 minutes. Add remaining parsley and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve.

There will be plenty leftover to freeze.

Recipe courtesy of The New Basics Cookbook (my dictionary of cooking).

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