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Red Lentil Soup with Olives
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
1 large carrot, unpeeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pink Himalayan salt to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound red lentils
1 pound chicken backs
4 thyme sprigs
2 lemons, halved
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
8 cups water or vegetable broth

In a 4 quart soup kettle, combine the 
celery, carrot, onion, garlic, olive oil 
and salt. Cover and cook over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until soft.   (Approx-
imately 10 minutes.) stir in the tomato paste;
continue to cook an additional minure. Add
the lentils, chicken backs, the liquid, and thyme.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low
and simmer uncovered until the lentils have soft-
ened. (Approximately 30 minutes.)

Discard the thyme sprigs. Remove the meat
from the chicken bones, chop and return to
the pot. Using an immersion blender, partially
purée the soup.  Taste for seasoning.   Ladle
into warmed bowls, squeeze lemon juice in
and top with the olives.


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