I originally titled this post “The Bay Leaf Incident of 2012,” but “Easy Lentil Tomato Soup” seemed a little more blog-friendly and less ominous. I shall begin with a photo:
Looks harmless enough, right? WRONG. Lurking within that blurry bowl of Lentil-Tomato Soup is something that until this weekend I assumed would cause immediate death – blended bay leaf. That’s right. I slaved over a hot stove creating a lovely soup, only to forget the crucial step of removing the whole bay leaves before using my immersion blender. I was certain I would kill myself and my unassuming dinner partner, who had placed blind faith in my ability to make a non-lethal soup.
After much hand-wringing and brow-furrowing, I did what any functional adult would do: I texted my mother.
“Am I going to kill us both if I serve soup in which I accidentally blended a bay leaf?’
Mom responded with the sanity that I was lacking.
“Not unless either of you are allergic to bay leaves.”
Oh. Thanks Mom.
So long story short, I learned a valuable lesson. Accidentally blending bay leaves into your soup, while not recommended, will not lead to paralysis, stroke, nerve damage, or sudden death. Mostly it will just result in a strong bay flavor and tiny floating pieces of leaf in your soup. If you’ve learned nothing else from this blog, please retain that.
I still want to share the recipe with you all, as it was actually quite tasty. I was inspired by an Alton Brown recipe I came across awhile ago. By the way, leave it to Alton Brown to publish a recipe calling for “Grains of Paradise.” I’m almost certain that is not a spice at all, but the title of an obscure John Steinbeck novel.
Easy Lentil Tomato Soup
Serves 2-3 people
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1 small-medium sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
A few pinches of salt
1 can cooked lentils, drained
1 cup peeled, ground tomatoes (canned)
1 32-oz box vegetable stock
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 whole bay leaves … do not blend
- Heat up the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and salt and saute for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. The onions should be soft and starting to brown.
- Add everything else and stir it up.
- Up the heat until the soup starts to boil. Then reduce to a simmer and let it do its thing for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. REMOVE BAY LEAVES. Blend using an immersion blender, regular blender, whatever.