French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme
Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero
This is the last lentil soup recipe you will ever need. Tarragon adds a wonderful peppery, licorice flavor that complements this soup like nobody’s business. Just try to keep leftovers of this soup stored in the fridge — you will find yourself going back for more all night. After three helpings, keep the lid on it to retain some sense of dignity.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into fine dice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika (Hungarian if you’ve got it)
- 5 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 cups French lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add oil. Sauté the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until onions have browned a bit. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and a little splash of water if necessary, and stir to deglaze the pot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
2Add the water, lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, then cover and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If the soup looks too thin, uncover and simmer for a couple more minutes. If it looks too thick, add a little more water. Serve with good, crusty bread.
Beverage pairing: Lazy Creek Gewürztraminer, California. A soup with lots of flavors needs a complex wine, and this litchi- and herb-packed white wine fits the bill. Dry, spicy, and smooth.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food
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