Number Two: “What’s for dinner?”
“Peasant Soup.” (Sounds better than cabbage and lentil soup, right?)
His response: “You mean like what they ate in the Middle Ages?!” (We had just watched Time Bandits a few days earlier.)
“Cool! Can we eat by candlelight, too?”
And he ate it. One point for mom for getting all the vegetables into the child- Yay!
Traditionally this soup would use a ham hock, but ya’ll know me….blech. So of course I had to tweak it a bit and make it my own recipe. It was also a lot faster my way, but if you fancy a ham hock then by all means go for it.
2 quarts chicken broth, divided
2 bay leaves
1 cup lentils, rinsed
salt & pepper to taste
2 T EVOO
1/2 onion, diced small
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1 tsp thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large celery stalk, diced small
1/2 head cabbage, shredded thin
1. Combine lentils with 2 cups broth and bring to a light boil. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes or until lentils are soft.
2. Dice up the vegetables and heat up the EVOO in a large skillet. Saute the onions for 2 or 3 minutes before adding in the carrots. Cook for a few minutes longer. Add the garlic, thyme and celery. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the soup pot with the lentils.
3. Add the remaining 6 cups of broth and the bay leaves.
4. Put in the cabbage, reduce to a simmer, then cover and allow the cabbage to wilt into the soup. Salt & pepper to taste.
I served this soup with delicious little grilled cheese sandwiches on sliced French bread, grilled with rosemary butter.
Make sure you use a sharp cheddar (or even a cheddar-swiss blend) to get all the flavor from the melted cheese. Simply add some rosemary to your melted butter then using a small brush, paint the butter onto the bread slices. Place into hot, oiled skillet and place thick slices of cheese in between bread slices. Flip and brown on both sides, sprinkling a little extra rosemary on if needed.