I’m a crazy holiday binger. Yes, I am that girl at the cocktail party hording Hors d’Oeuvres and cramming chocolates into her mouth. It ain’t pretty. However, I just love miniature pastry-shrouded food that can be passed around on a plate. How often can I call such fun fare “dinner”?
My favorite #detoxtoretox (Add a hash tag, start a Twitter craze!) meal is lentil soup. I found this recipe for Lentil Soup with Serrano Ham and Arugula in Food & Wine many years ago. I rarely bother with the ham and arugula, since the base vegetarian recipe is fantastic –one of my favorites to feed herbivores. Sometimes when I feel like serving this as a hearty dinner, I will add turkey sausage (I like Aidell’s brand, which you can buy in bulk at Costco and freeze). However, today, in my post-party guilt, I felt the need to see a little green on my plate. I added some chopped kale, letting the leaves wilt when I reheated the soup in the microwave.
Detox Lentil Soup
- 1 1/2 cups lentils
- 8 cups very hot tap water
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, very finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots, very thinly sliced
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, 4 thinly sliced and 1 minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Crushed red pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with the water and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a medium soup pot, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, celery and sliced garlic. Cover and cook the vegetables over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Carefully add the lentils and the boiling water. Add the tomato paste and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to the soup and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the soup over moderate heat until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Ladle the lentil soup into large bowls, garnish with the ham and arugula and serve.