Chef Loi’s Notes: Many cultures have their version of lentil soup—what I love the most about mine is the simplicity of the soup, and the way the flavor and texture of the lentil doesn’t get marred or lost in a sea of ingredients.
Lentil Soup (Fakes)
Serves 6 to 8
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound lentils (any kind, though brown/black are best for this soup)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 tomatoes, grated (on the large holes of a box grater)
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1/3 cup olive oil
In a large pot, bring 8 cups lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in the lentils and simmer them until slightly hydrated, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the lentils into a large colander and discard the cooking liquid.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onion until golden and softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, garlic, carrots, grated tomato, tomato paste, bay leaf, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 8 cups water, bring to a boil, and simmer until the lentils are soft, 35 to 45 minutes.
Slowly add the olive oil, stirring continuously, and simmer the soup for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until it thickens. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Remove the bay leaf and the rosemary sprig before serving.
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