Two Lentil Soup with Marjoram uses red lentils for thickening and green lentils for texture.
This winter in Southern New Brunswick we’re getting a glimpse of what it must be like to live on the West Coast. It’s not that we’re having West Coast weather exactly, it’s just that we’re not having a typical East Coast winter. With nary a true cold snap and only a few blizzards we’re getting off easy.
(It’s still February, I must remind myself.)
Looking out my dining room window I can see grass, and lots of it. Today it was snow-raining.
A mild winter is welcome but it doesn’t mean that we have left soup weather behind. On this blustery day I had soup simmering by mid-morning, knowing that I’d have a damp-weather chill by mid-afternoon if I didn’t have something hearty for lunch.
Cook your green lentils separately:
I have recently taken to cooking most lentils (aside from red) separately from my soup and adding them near the end. It’s the best way for me to get the toothsome texture that I like.
A note about marjoram:
Marjoram, that wallflower herb with a lovely (albeit distinct) flavour, is often forgotten. It’s perfect for hearty Mediterranean soups.
Save your parmesan rind:
Save your parmesan rind to use as a flavouring for soup. Just leave them in the freezer so you always have them on hand.
Two Lentil Soup with Marjoram
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne or red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 6-8 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes or jar of strained tomatoes
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 tsp. dried marjoram (or to taste)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- rind of parmesan (if you have it)
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- Warm a large soup pot over medium heat and add the oil. When it starts to shimmer toss in the onions, garlic and 1/2 tsp. of salt.
- Saute, stirring often, until the onions are soft then add the spices, carrots and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- Add 6 cups of broth, the tomatoes and the cup of red lentils. Stir and simmer gently until lentils are cooked. (Add the parmesan rind here, if you have it.)
- While the soup is simmering, fill a medium pot with water and bring it to the boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and the green lentils. Stir and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir from time to time and check for doneness. When the lentils are al dente drain.
- When the red lentils have softened such that they disappear into the soup stir in the green lentils. Add more broth to get your preferred consistency. Stir in the marjoram and oregano and season with salt & pepper.