July 13, 2009

Cold Soup Files: Chilled Lentil Soup Recipe

Lentils: so cold right now. That's right, folks, lentils aren't just for hearty winter stews anymore. How did I make this discovery? I had about a cup of lentils left in my cupboard, I'm trying to eat up the food in the house before my trip, and I refuse to eat hot food in this absurd climate.

While most cold soups tend to be blended and cream-based, there's no reason a brothy soup can't be served cold. In fact, a broth-based cold soup is a much healthier option for those of you counting calories out there. My recommendation is to add a good amount of fresh seasoning (in this case, dill and mint) to this type of soup right before serving it, though, because the lack of heat means that some of your flavors are going to be slightly duller than usual.

Chilled Lentil Soup with Mint and Dill
  • One cup of lentils
  • One half an onion, finely chopped
  • One clove of garlic, peeled diced
  • 8-10 cups of room temperature vegetable or chicken stock (I used homemade celery stock)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Celery salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh mint to taste
  • Fresh dill to taste

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, sauté onions, garlic, and spices in olive oil until onions do that nice translucent thing. Stir in the lentils until they're coated with oil and onion juice, then pour in stock. Let simmer for about 40 minutes, or until lentils are done.

2. Refrigerate soup several hours, until it's cold. Once the soup is plated, sprinkle fresh-cut mint and dill over the top (it's really easy to do both with a pair of scissors, right over the bowl).

I was quite pleased with this soup, especially because it has the wonderful quality of all other soups: it gets better the longer it sits. And the best part? It's a cold soup that manages to be refreshing while also being completely butter, cream, and guilt-free.

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