It’s harvest time, and I just love it! There have been so many phone calls from friends and family wondering if I would like some treasure or another from the garden. Last weekend my good friend, Annabelle offered me fresh herbs from her garden: rosemary, bay leaves, thyme (various kinds), sage, lavender and oregano: what a windfall! I piled my car with arm- loads full of fragrant herbs and the next day found me busily sun drying many of them in the gorgeous late summer sun. However, I reserved bunches of fresh herbs for this very special red lentil soup. Having made it before, I knew that the fresh herbs turn this soup into an intoxicating concoction. Honestly, I always have to go back for seconds! So, if you find yourself with a bounty of herbs in your garden, I suggest that you give this recipe a whirl. I just know you won’t be disappointed. I found it in one of my favourite local Canadian cookbooks, “Rebar Modern Food Cookbook“, by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz.
I will be bringing a huge tureen of this delight over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday tonight. I just bet that many of the gang have bunches of herbs waiting for an awesome recipe like this one. If you haven’t checked out Angie’s virtual blog party yet, you don’t know what you are missing! We love new comers, so please come and join us!
Greek Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, Rosemary and Feta Cheese
2 cups red lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoons salt
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
2 tablespoons minced oregano
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
zest of ½ lemon
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 teaspoons minced rosemary
cracked pepper to taste
Rinse lentils thoroughly in a colander under cold running water until the water runs clear. Set aside to drain.
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat and sauté onions with 1 teaspoon salt until translucent. Add garlic, carrot, pepper, chiles, herbs, bay leaves and remaining salt. Stir well and sauté until the carrots are just tender.
Add the lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart. If you like, the soup can be puréed or left as it is. If you choose to purée, remove the bay leaves first.
Season the soup with lemon zest, lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, stir together the feta cheese, rosemary and pepper. Sprinkle over the hot bowls of soup and sigh with delight!