Another fond lentil memory, was Mrs. Knispel's lentil soup. Ethel was my babysitter when I started kindergarten until...not really until when! Anyways, she made her soup with red lentils and a lot of vegetables. It was much different in flavor and texture from my Mothers. I don't remember enough to recreate the recipe. If I did, it would be pretty damn amazing since I haven't had it in at least 20 years! Maybe her daughter is on Facebook...I bet she has it...
Lately I've been craving my Mother's recipe. Unfortunately, I'm trying to shed a few pounds, so I can't really use her recipe. I did find a lighter version in Cooking Light (LOVE that magazine). I made it this week. While it's not my Mother's recipe, it's as close as I'm going to get!
Anthos Lentil Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light Jan/Feb 2008
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato (about 8 ounces)
1 cup finely chopped carrot (about 2 medium)
1 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped parsnip
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup brown lentils
2 bay leaves1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Note: This recipe initially happens quickly. I suggest following the practice of mise en place. I normally half ass do this. But in this case, it's necessary.
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add potato, carrot, celery, parsnip, and shallots to pan; sauté for 7 minutes or until tender.
Add sherry vinegar to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add chicken broth, lentils, and bay leaves to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves.
Transfer half of lentil mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth, scraping sides. Return lentil mixture to pan; stir in pepper and salt.