Back in May 2010, when I was deep into making everything in the Barefoot Contessa’s first book, I made her recipe for lentil vegetable soup. It called for French green lentils. According to the Contessa, the French lentils will make the soup fresher and less starchy. Of course that meant that I had to have them.
Let’s flashback: I was living in uncivilized Pennsylvania an hour from a Whole Foods. End result: I had to order them on Amazon and you could only get four 24-ounce bags. Hello! That’s six pounds of lentils! Fortunately, they did not expire until February 2012, so no problem; right? Well, even though the notes I wrote in the Contessa book indicate that they were totally worth the shipping, I still haven’t used them all. The moral of the story is that lentils go a long way. After all, today’s soup only used half a pound.
Since it’s winter and my lentils are on the verge of expiration, I went looking for a good use for them. I was really hoping to use the slow cooker again. Alas, when I saw crispy olives I could not resist this recipe from the 400 Calorie Fix book. Even though they didn’t stay crispy for long, the olives were a nice salty addition. Another little surprise in this soup: cinnamon.
This was before adding in the tomato puree, so it’s still got a little bit of a vibrancy about it.
Obviously I am not expert, but I do believe the French lentils hold their shape and provide a little pop.
Topped with yogurt and the aforementioned crispy olives, I might have to make this again next week to use up the rest of the lentils. Curiously, the recipe did not call for Greek yogurt.
Eat Well and Savor.