It snowed for the first time this season last Saturday, which put me in the mood to make a big pot of lentil soup.
This lentil minestrone soup from Deborah Madison is full of vegetables and herbs. I used rainbow chard instead of spinach and added the chopped chard to the soup at the very end and simmered for 1 minute to cook the chard.
The lentils in the soup are French de Puy green lentils, which hold their shape well in the soup and do not take a long time to cook. This recipe calls for either water or a basic vegetable stock as the base.
I used leftover cooking liquid from a batch of chickpeas. The chickpea cooking liquid makes a flavorful base, especially since I cook the chickpeas with onion, bay leaves, and kombu.
What I Would Change
The original recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked small pasta for the entire recipe. I recommend using about 2 oz of shells per serving. The pasta should be freshly prepared before serving, so that it does not get soggy in the dish.
We had leftover soup for lunch, and instead of putting in pasta, I added cooked farro, which made the soup really hearty.
I also added a dollop of basil pesto to each bowl to add some extra flavor.