Saturday, March 14, 2009

Turkish Spinach and Lentil Soup

Although the rain subsided today, it was still cold (for Austin in March) and overcast, definitely a soup day. I have a lot of spinach hanging out in the fridge, so I was looking for a soup that used spinach. While this recipe doesn't use a lot, it used spinach nonetheless. I found this recipe in Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook and decided to use the chicken stock I had been cooking off the bone this afternoon (instead of the vegetarian version from the cookbook) Curtis and I thought it was perfect for this evening with a side of salad with strawberry vinegrette and a challah toast. J ate it eagerly. M needed to coerced (this seems to becoming a ritual. I am not enjoying it) but ate her soup as well. I made this as a very thick soup, almost a stew because I wasn't after something brothy. When we eat the leftovers, I'll probably add more liquid so it isn't too thick.

Turkish Spinach and Lentil Soup
1 c dried lentils
5 c chicken stock
1/4 c olive oil
2 c onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 c raw bulghur
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
2 c tomatoes, chopped
2 T tomato paste
pinch of fresh chopped rosemary (or to taste)
salt and black pepper to taste
2 c fresh spinach, stemmed, cleaned, and coarsely chopped

Bring the lentils to a boil in a pot of salted water. Simmer, covered for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and raw bulghur. Stir the mixture on medium heat until the onions and bulghur are lightly browned. Mix in the parsley and tomatoes. When the tomatoes begin to give up their juice, stir in the tomato paste. Pour the lentils and the stock into the soup pot with the onions and bulghur. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add more stock or water if soup gets too thick. Just before serving, stir in the spinach and let it wilt.

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