This soup is packed with protein and guaranteed to feed a hungry family. Garnish with Parmesan Croutons to add some crunch.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 to 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato purée
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 potato, peeled and diced
2 handfuls baby spinach
Parmesan Croutons (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Add lentils and garlic. Stir well to mix. Add tomato purée, stock, potatoes and rosemary sprigs. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Partially cover and gently simmer, until potatoes and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Ladle half of the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. (Alternatively, purée soup with immersion blender directly in saucepan.) Return blended soup to saucepan and bring back to simmer. Add spinach and cook until it just starts to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Serve soup hot. If desired, garnish with Parmesan Croutons, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Yield: 4 servings.