Well, we certainly found Nemo out here in Connecticut — one and a half feet of him.
Snowed in and no where to go, I opened up my cupboards and went shopping for some ingredients for soup on this blistery and bright day. I wound up making this Caviar Lentil Soup.
I have to admit that I really love calling this Caviar Lentil Soup, because it sounds so much more extravagant and fanciful than just black lentil soup. Having said that, this is truly a soup that is fit for kings and queens of snowy days.
It was a perfect soup to enjoy after some morning snow galavanting that involved climbing large snow drifts and making snow angels. I simmered the lentils with onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes and a variety of Indian spices that were given to me as a birthday present by my sister in law. In honor of the gift giver of the tasty spices, some bacon served as a rich backbone. At the end, some spinach, a little butter and salt went into the mix as well.
I will most certainly be making this again. It was not only incredibly easy to make, it was a delicious, rich and satisfying main course luncheon soup. The only thing I might do on round 2 is double the aleppo pepper to give it just a little more heat. I leave that decision to you.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp to ½ tsp ground aleppo pepper
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 cup black lentils
- 1 cup chopped plum or grape tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cups spinach
- Sea Salt to taste
- Heat oil in large dutch oven. Add bacon and cook until it begins to brown and render fat, above 5 minutes.
- Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic to the pan and added additional olive oil if needed to avoid burning. Saute for 5-7 minutes until softened.
- Add cumin, coriander, aleppo pepper and garam masala and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Add in chicken stock, black lentils, chopped tomatoes and a bay leaf and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer and let cook for an hour to an hour and 10 minutes, until lentils are soft.
- Add in spinach, butter and salt and cook until spinach is wilted and butter is evenly distributed, about 5 minutes.