Friday, May 29, 2015

Rhubarb Lentil Soup





It's rhubarb season! This is one wonderful plant that you won't find at the store. You either have to start growing it yourself or find someone who grows it--and hope they offer you a bagful if you ask nicely. They usually will.  :)

A perennial that typically grows bigger and stronger each year, rhubarb is especially wonderful because it's one of the first foods--following closely behind asparagus--that we get to harvest in the spring.

Because it's so tart, rhubarb is very popular in desserts, with a nice amount of sugar added. I've never met a rhubarb dessert I didn't like--whether it be a crumble, a pie, or a sauce for ice cream. So what is this crazy idea about putting rhubarb in soup? Now that's thinking outside the box! When I stumbled upon this recipe in this book by Mark Bittman, I leaped to try it. I omitted several ingredients simply because most people don't have them on hand (like cardamom pods). Even after changing the recipe a bit to make it my own, this soup rocked my socks off. I am thrilled by the way it turned out--slightly tangy, smooth and warm, with just enough spice from the pepper and ground mustard.

You've got to try this soup if you have any extra rhubarb laying around after making your signature rhubarb pie!


The chopped rhubarb seems to melt and disappear into the soup.
But when you get a taste of tart with a bite of lentils,
your mouth sings with joy!


*If you can't find red lentils, you can use brown. I really hope you can find red, though, because they are extra special and delicious.



Rhubarb Lentil Soup      print here

3 T. coconut or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. ground mustard
2 cloves
1 c. chopped rhubarb (can use frozen, thaw first)
1 c. dried red lentils
4 c. vegetable broth

yogurt and cilantro to garnish, optional


1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook them until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute.

2. Add cloves and ground mustard. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the rhubarb and red lentils. Stir until combined, then slowly pour in the vegetable broth.

3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it softly bubble, covered, for 30-35 minutes. Remove the cloves (they will be easy to spot as you stir).

4. Serve as is or add a dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkle with cilantro. Leftover soup thickens into more of a stew that is perfect with cooked rice. Delicious!




This recipe was featured with a bunch of other cool rhubarb recipes at this link!



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