lazy lentil soup
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This lentil soup is one of my lifelong favorite comfort foods. It’s great in summer when all the produce is in and everything is fresh. It’s great in fall when the weather turns cold and rainy. And it’s great in winter paired with a with a warm, hearty bread for a cozy meal after a long day of skiing. It’s easy to prepare and makes your whole house smell delicious while it’s simmering. It freezes well for easy lunches and dinners when you don’t have time to cook. You can even make it in winter with a combination of stored root crops and frozen greens. Any time of year, though, it’s a great way to appreciate the flavor and quality of all the excellent produce Alaska offers.
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2 cups dried lentils
3 cloves garlic minced
2 medium onions chopped
1 bay leaf
2 carrots chopped
2 Tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried basil
4 stalks celery chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 small potatoes
7-8 cups vegetable stock or water
3 sprigs parsley
3/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes with liquid or 4 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 bunch swiss chard (optional)
parmesan cheese, grated
In large pot, combine all ingredients except the chard and cheese. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for two or three hours. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. If you prefer smoother soup, use a hand blender to puree to taste. Remove center veins from the chard, cut into smaller pieces, and add to soup. Simmer until chard is tender. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese.
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