Recipe Review: Roasted Garlic-Lentil Soup

Announcing a new column - Recipe Review! I decided to share my adventures in the kitchen - I am by no means a good chef, and that's kin...

Announcing a new column - Recipe Review! I decided to share my adventures in the kitchen - I am by no means a good chef, and that's kind of the point. I like to try new recipes all the time, and because I'm such a beginner I thought it might be helpful to share the recipes and add in tips and things that I didn't know until I went through the process of making something. Enjoy!

First up: Roasted Garlic-Lentil Soup, from Candice Kumai's Cook Yourself Sexy: Easy Delicious Recipes for the Hottest, Most Confident You

2 garlic heads
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces pancetta (optional), cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs (*a sprig is so tiny. Can't believe I paid $3.50 for a whole pack that I'll never use up!)
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups brown, red, or green lentils
8 cups chicken stock, divided into 6 cups and 2 cups
1/2 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped (*Swiss chard is the same as any chard in your produce aisle - I chose green chard for my soup. See below for chopping instructions.)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

More after the jump:

Prepping the chard:
Fold the leaf inwards, slice off the stem, then chop horizontally and then into smaller pieces as you see fit, then chuck it into a colander and rinse.

My finished result:
Tip: (probably obvious to more experience chefs) - prep your other ingredients the night before - it makes things so much easier when you're ready to cook! I chopped my carrots, parsnip, and onion the night before and put them in bowls in the fridge, then pulled them out when I was ready to start cooking. I don't know why I don't do that more often.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top of the garlic in half horizontally (almost like you beheaded it), drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and wrap it in an aluminum foil "tent". Roast for 1 hour and set aside until it's cool enough to handle, then remove the cloves from their skins. (Beware: roasted garlic is surprisingly sticky, something I've never thought about!)
2. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven or stockpot with the canola oil (I used vegetable oil since I didn't have canola, and I don't think it mattered). Add the pancetta if using, and saute over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pot using a slotted spoon, place on a paper towel, and put it to the side.
3. Add the onion to the pot and saute until fragrant and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the parsnip, carrots, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf and cook for 5 more minutes.
4. Add the lentils (uncooked) and 6 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and gently simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
5. When the soup is ready, mix in the Swiss chard, sea salt, roasted garlic, and pancetta (if using). Simmer on low heat until the chard is just wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups chicken stock after the Swiss chard wilts, to finish.

Overall this soup wasn't too difficult to make, but it definitely helped to have pre-prepped the ingredients. And I still don't like cooked carrots, but this soup is good! And delicious! And now I have enough for the rest of the week. It's actually a really nice cold-day soup. I also toasted some Boudin sourdough to go along with it - perfection!

Makes 6 servings (but I've had about 8 from this recipe).

For the recipe with my tips and without any photos, click here.
For the original recipe, go here.

All photos by me.

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  1. random question, did you get the pancetta from trader's? if so, IN WHAT SECTION? I spend 15 minutes looking last week, to no avail.

    also, you got me to look up what the hell a dutch oven was, so look at that! learning!

    1. Haha FYI I just used my biggest, deepest pot! I don't own a dutch oven. I did have to buy a peeler for the carrots and parsnip tho. Tip: Cheaper at Bed Bath & Beyond than Whole Foods. lol

      As for the pancetta, yes from trader's, and if we're talking the 21st street store, where the ready-made ravioli, pizza dough, and deli meats are in the back corner perpendicular to the section where all the fresh meats are. It's tiny though, took me a while to spot it!

  2. Love the new column! I think the greatest thing about soup, you have leftovers for the entire week ;)

    Have a great wekend, hun!

    1. Thank you! And I love having leftovers, so I definitely agree! haha

  3. Looks yummers and ohhh so healthy!!! Loving all the fresh colors in this dish too!I hope i get to try this recipe one day! It's just so convenient in HK that i hardly cook, you know how it is right???!!? lol

    Hope your weekend was a good one, Jess:D


  4. Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole's Chatter is collecting links to dishes using garlic. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . Please do check out some of the other links – there are a lot of good ones already. Cheers

  5. Jess, thanks for linking in to Food on friday: Garlic. I have signed up to follow your blog. A follow back would be fantastic. Cheers


Thank you so much for your comments! :)

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