Friday, November 5, 2010

One Pot Meal: Lamb & Lentil Soup

Dried leaves falling from the trees, gray clouds in the sky and a blustery wind beating against my door.  You what that means... soup!  Really, what's better on a miserable day than a bowl of steamy hot, meaty soup?

I had some beautiful lamb bones stored in the freezer, leftover from a fantastic piece of lamb that I cooked for a back porch dinner party this summer with a couple of our friends. (Which was amazing by the way, butterflied leg of lamb with mint and basil pesto, YUM!)  Waste not, want not is a kitchen credo I try to incorporate whenever possible so I saved those raw lamb bones, which still had a good amount of meat on them, to serve as the basis for another meal.  I'm not made of money and it's always good to stretch a buck with the groceries.  I already had the lamb bones from another meal but you can always ask the butcher at the supermarket if you can buy a few bones.  They're usually cheap, generally not more than a few dollars per pound, so don't feel like you have to splurge on a pricey leg of lamb before you can make this soup.

If you don't have lamb bones then beef bones will work too. And if you don't have bones, well, then I feel a bit sorry for you but don't worry, the lentil soup will be tasty all on its own if you skip the bone parts.  In lieu of bones, you can add in some chopped cooked leftover meat near the end of cooking, whatever you happen to have.

Oh and I have to mention that my kids, ages six and eleven, loved this soup.  They ate a few bowls each.  Inexpensive and kid approved.  Score!

printer friendly recipe

2 pounds meaty lamb bones
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, diced small
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 potatoes, peeled and diced small
2 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cup dried lentils (any color you like)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the bones and cook on all sides until deeply browned.

Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and potatoes.  Add all of the herbs and spices.  Mix well.

Cover and sweat the vegetables for 15 minutes.

Add the lentils, tomato paste and broth.   Raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Remove bones and pick off any meat.  Add meat to pot.

Makes 8 very generous servings.


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