Lentil Vegetable Soup with Beet Greens


I can't believe how quickly this year's gone so far. We're almost done with week three of the elementary school year, and so far everything is going fantastically well. Starting a new job has been a little scary for me, but thankfully the staff is incredibly nice and supportive and the students are sweet as always (minus the few that have spent some quality time in The Audience). I have been really busy these last few weeks though, and I have to say, I'm loving it! I know I haven't been here much lately, but that's life right? And live is going oh so well right now.

Adding to life's greatness, my beautiful college roommates came to visit over Labor Day weekend. We had such a blast--all five of us stayed in my Chicago apartment, and we were finally able to spend some great quality time together after over a year of being apart. Knowing that I needed to feed everyone, I decided to make my favorite lentil soup with about every CSA vegetable that I had on hand. I added cabbage, tomatoes, and beet greens this time (yes, beet greens), and it was delicious as ever. It's also great with swiss chard--cut the stems too and add them in to the soup with the celery.

I'm feeling like this is such a great fall recipe, and what a perfect time to share it since we're past labor day. Oh, and it's gluten free! Happy soup eating!

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Beet Greens
Adapted from Ina Garten

1 pound green lentils
3 large yellow onions, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
10-12 celery stalks, diced
6 large carrots, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
3 quarts chicken stock
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups beet greens, stems and ribs removed
1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Place lentils in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and cook onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin until soft and very tender, about 20 minutes. Add celery and carrots and cook for 10 more minutes. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, and lentils and stir together. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Add cabbage, red wine vinegar, and beet greens and cook for 3-5 minutes or until cabbage is the texture of your liking. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and crusty bread!