Curried lentil soup
Makes 8 cups -- 8 servings
Vegetarian comfort food at its best, this hearty, main course soup is perfect for a family dinner. Make it in advance when you have time, and the flavors will marry as the soup is refrigerated for a day or two. Because the lentils may absorb some of the liquid, add water or vegetable stock when reheating.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder
6 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
2 carrots, finely chopped
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
½ cup Merlot or other or other medium-bodied red wine
¼ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder; stir constantly for 1 minute.
Add the vegetable stock, lentils, and carrots; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes with juice, wine, parsley, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.