Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lentil Soup with Beef

Just when you think spring is here, Mother Nature turns around and throws you a curve-ball in the form of an early spring blizzard. Maybe you're lucky enough to live in a part of the country with pleasant weather right now, but I'm really sick of the snow, wind and clouds.

But at least it gives me a reason to keep eating dishes like this one. Lentil soup has always been one of my favorites on a cold and blustery day. So until the balmy days of spring and summer arrive, this easy one-pot meal will make life seem a little more pleasant.

And what better way to use up those lentils from the Chicken Dhansak a few weeks ago.

Lentil Soup with Beef
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Pictures by Caroline

makes 6-8 hearty servings

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped dried rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
4 (14-ounce) cans beef broth
2 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with
2 cups lentils (any color), rinsed

1. Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl.
2. Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
3. Return the beef and any accumulated juices from the bowl to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
4. Add the lentils. Cover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
5. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.


Jessie said...

I like lentils, too. This looks good. Do you think it would do well in the freezer? Do you have any other suggestions for dishes I can prepare and then freeze for later consumption?

two little chefs said...

I've never personally frozen this soup, but other people who have made it said it did quite well after a few weeks in the freezer.

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