I always feel like I'm playing a little bit of a game when I have random things in my kitchen I need to use, but don't want to go to the grocery just yet…and am still a day away from picking up my CSA. It's like that TV show Chopped, in which contestants are given a basket of random food to make a meal. Ninety-five percent of the time I surprise myself and make a totally cohesive and healthy meal! The other 5 percent? I am thiiis close to heading to the deli down the street for a sub.
The other night was one of those "game show kitchen" nights. I had tons of dry ingredients and staples such as lentils and pasta, but also a few pieces of produce I needed to use up. This lentil soup has veggies and protein (love you lentils!), but also the right amount of flavor from a Parmesan rind and fresh lemon thyme. Thank goodness for leftovers! I could eat this all day.
Parmesan Lentil Soup
This lentil soup has veggies and protein (love you lentils!), but also the right amount of flavor from a Parmesan rind and fresh lemon thyme.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped into rounds
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 14-ounce can tomatoes with juice, seeded and chopped (or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 cups water
- 1½ cup lentils
- 1 chunk Parmesan rind
- 1 bay leaf
- Black pepper
- ½ cup small pasta
- Garnishes: lemon thyme, grated Parmesan
- Over medium heat in a large pot, add onion, carrot and garlic with oil. Cook and stir until everything is tender for about five minutes.
- Add in tomatoes, turn heat to medium and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils with chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil.
- Add Parmesan rind and bay leaf and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add salt and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Add pasta and cook until pasta is done.
- Top with more cheese, black pepper, salt and lemon thyme. Serves 6.