Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Port O' Bella Soup

Rustic Lentil Soup with Kale @ Food Connections.com
For a week now I have been in the mood to make my girl friend April"s Super Easy Vegetable Casserole but I have not had the right ingredients on hand. Today I found Rustic Lentil Soup with Kale at Food Connections. Now I wanted to eat both. 
Hmmm, I think it could have also been because of my failed attempt at mushroom soup last night. Well it really was not a failed attempt. It just did not turn out as I had hoped. I had frozen a gallon of sauted mushrooms. I thawed these slowly adding sea salt, black pepper, parley, basil, oregano, chipotle, and gran marsala. I sauted garlic and onion. Mix the sauted garlic and onion into the mushrooms. I pureed everything together adding a can of chicken stock and a little olive oil. Brought it to a light boil. The problem was it was exceptionally thick, almost like a paste. I served the soup over white rice. Joseph loved it. Anything mushroom and he could eat his weight. :0)

Porta Bella Mushrooms

This afternoon I got to thinking about the porta bella mushrooms I got yesterday and how disappointed I was in last nights soup. Then I stumbled upon Debra's recipe. As I started to lay out items April''s recipe kept coming to mind. So I added a little from April and a little from Debra. Voila!

Look at those beautiful colors!

I LOVE the smell of carrots cooking, yum!

No kale on hand so I used mustard green. Such vibrant color.
My younger daughter who does not like mushrooms told me this was one of my best soup's yet. WOW! The youngest daughter said that she was hanging on the fence even though her's did not have lentils as she "cannot stand them" and I had picked out all the mushrooms. Jeff thought it was "very good". I must admit it was really good. I hope that you enjoy this as much as we did. From prep to completion dinner was ready in less than 45 minutes. I will definitely be adding this to the menu rotation.

Sliced oranges were a lovely side dish.
Port O' Bella Soup 

7-8 C of water
6-8 porta bella mushrooms
4 small yams (I used red skin)
4 small red potatoes
4 carrots
1 red pepper
3 Tbsp garlic powder or several cloves of fresh
4 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked chipotle
1 bag of lentils
1 bunch greens (I used mustard)
1 C of red wine (* See note below)
An hour before you plan to start cooking, rinse and soak lentils. Soak for 1 hour. If you have more time 2 hours works. You can also soak lentils the night before, drain and refrigerate.  Cover with cold water until it's an inch above lentils. Bring lentils to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cooking for 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat.

While lentils are cooking gently scrap black gills from the porta bella mushrooms, removing stems. Chop mushrooms into chunks. Dry pan fry mushrooms (*See note below) and set aside. 

Bring water to boil. Add herbs, chopped potatoes and the greens stems to boiling water. Saute chopped red pepper, carrots, and garlic if using fresh. Adding to the boiling mixture after 15 minutes the mushrooms, red peppers, carrots and garlic.  During the last 5 minutes add greens.

Serve soup over lentils. If added to vegetables it will thicken soup too much. 

* Please Note: A quick dry-heat cooking method using a pan on a stove top. No oil is used and the pan is uncovered. 

* Note on Wine: Debra recommends adding a 1 C of port to her lentil soup. If I had port on hand, I definitely would have add it!

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