At the end of my Thanksgiving cooking marathon, I began to squirrel away homemade turkey stock, turkey gravy and remnants of glistening tomatoey broth from my slow cooked brisket. Just as my freezer shelf was beginning to look like a frozen wonderland of rich liquid leftovers I was asked by Red Envelope, the nifty gift catalogue, to submit my favorite wintry recipe for them to share with their thousands of readers.
How could a food blogger resist?
So I got to work by digging around my pantry. I found a bag of lentils, which prompted me to remember that I had a package of facon (kosher beef, smoked and meant to imitate the forbidden stuff) in my basement freezer. My inspiration for a warming soup was coming together as the temps plummeted into the 20′s that Sunday. For a little extra heat I added some depth with cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
The charge by Red Envelope was to pair my original recipe with one of their lovely gifts in their catalogue. Thinking about the ease of finally relaxing over a bowl of steaming soup with my favorite red by my side, I landed on these whimsical, tipsy, stemless wine glasses called Cupa Vino. They weeble and wobble but don’t fall down. They were just the added bit of humor and fun I was ready for. You may find them here.
For more on my source for facon click on my past post on Grow and Behold.
This warming Lentil Soup is thick and robust with bold flavors from warming spices. It's even better after the first day.
- 3 Tb. olive oil
- 1 6 oz.package all beef facon, trimmed of fat and minced (optional)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 14 ounce can of peeled, chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Qts. vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 cups green or red lentil, rinsed and examined for unwanted particles.
- chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Place large pot over medium heat. Warm olive oil and brown minced facon. Remove facon once it is golden (5-7 minutes) and set aside.
- Sautee onions until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook lightly for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery and canned tomatoes to pot. Bring to a low simmer.
- Add all seasoning powders, adjusting to taste.
- Add vegetable or chicken stock, holding back 1-2 cups if you prefer thicker soup.
- Add cooked facon and lentils and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring periodically.
- Add more stock as the lentil break down and thicken, if you prefer a looser soup.
- Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, dill or cilantro.
- Stay warm and enjoy!
Soup may be made vegetarian by omitting the facon and using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. It will still be big on flavors.