Fall Lentil Soup

Late this summer I had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Saskatoon to learn all about lentils, thanks to Canadian Lentils. Did you know that Canada – Saskatchewan in particular – is a leading grower, producer, breeder and exporter of this humble pulse? I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what a lentil plant looked like before I hit the ground (and in my stubbornness refused to google it before I arrived!) and I was certainly amazed to learn all about them. And so you all know – here’s what a lentil plant looks like. It’s tiny and delicate, frilly and totally lovely!

Lentil Love – check out all those tiny pods!

Unlike other pulses, such as beans or peas, these pods produce only one or two lentils….sooo tiny!

Tiny pods for a tiny legume!

The Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan is a leading developer of lentils and other pulses.

Endless varieties for endless culinary possibilities.

 

After touring lentil plots, eating meals chock full of lentils and generally celebrating all things lentil, I headed to the Saskatoon Farmers Market to stock up on – you guessed it – lentils.

Now that the weather has turned and the shorter days and cooler nights of fall are upon us, the bags of lentils on my shelf have become more and more appealing. The green lentils in particular were just begging to be turned into this hearty soup.

Fall Lentil Soup

Here’s how you can do it too:

Fall Lentil Soup

 
1 cup dried green lentils
1 tbsp olive oil
2 mild Italian sausages, casings removed
Half white onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
Pinch each salt and pepper
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock or broth
2 cups shredded trimmed Swiss chard leaves
Shredded Parmesan cheese

•Soak lentils in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

•Meanwhile, in large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook sausage, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Stir in onion, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in lentil; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

•Stir in 4 cups water, tomatoes and stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard; simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

 

More Fall Lentil Soup.

This soup is a great way to end a blustery fall day. Perhaps next time I’ll use dried red lentils instead of green. I’m sure it will be just as lovely!

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