1Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they soften, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes.
2Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, cilantro, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. (Stick blender worked well.)
3Add the remaining spices (ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin) to the onions and cook for one minute. Add the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and 8 cups of water or watered down chicken broth. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the lentils are tender – about 30 to 35 minutes.
4Add the chickpeas and raise the heat bringing down the heat to a low boil. If serving the next day, refrigerate here. Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead at this stage.
5Add the pasta and cook until tender – 6 to 8 minutes. Serve.
Finding the absolute best ingredients such a big part of Chef Antoine Westermann’s culinary career and the main drive behind all of his expertly crafted dishes. His relationship with farmers and purveyors are critical to his work as a chef. While visiting one of his providers in New York, the French chef describes his efforts to find the best local ingredients for his restaurant.
Easy Lentil Soup
This easy lentil soup is healthy, filling, and delicious. It happens to be vegetarian, too, and is packed not only with tender yet toothsome lentils, but carrot, celery, onion, spinach, and tomato. A little bay leaf, fresh thyme, and a splash of red wine or sherry vinegar perks everything up. Perfect with a loaf of good, crusty bread! Read more.
Just toss, dump, pour and stir, and you have dinner ready in a flash. Save and enjoy throughout the week, or bring to your next party.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too). Read more.
Classic Tomato Soup
This comforting tomato soup is super easy and super delicious. Canned San Marzano tomatoes marry with soft, sautéed onions and garlic, a pinch of red pepper, and chicken broth to create a soothing, savory bowl. Finished with a bit of cream, this is begging for a grilled cheese sandwich on the side. But really, it tastes great with lots of things, as well as on its own (though a basil and Parmesan garnish doesn't hurt). Read more.
Basic Vegetable Soup
This soup is an equally wonderful way to use up all the leftover veggie odds and ends in your fridge, or to celebrate the freshest produce in season by buying it specifically for the dish (and if you get a CSA box, it can serve both purposes). Whatever vegetables you use, this is an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal, and endlessly customizable. Fresh pesto makes a great, vibrant garnish, but you could also simply sprinkle on a bit of grated Parmesan and cracked black pepper. Read more.