Soup Weather

LeanneAh, soup weather has finally hit the Pacific Northwest!  With all the gorgeous sunshine we’ve had throughout the summer and into early fall, it almost seemed like it was never going to arrive. I don’t want to make it sound like I was tired of the sun—on the contrary.  However, I do kind of love the heartier food of real fall and winter. I love a good soup, and like sandwiches, I think it’s sometimes difficult to find a really, really good one—where all the flavors blend to create something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. This is one of those soups.  The recipe may look long but it’s easy to put together and you can even leave out the blender part.  I save my parmesan rinds in the freezer just to put in this lovely concoction.  Other recipes usually tell you to remove them before serving but to me, few things are yummier than a parmesan rind that’s been slowly melting in a pot of soup!

Lentil-Barley Soup with Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup sliced leek
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup water
¾ cup beer
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped parsnip
¼ cup chopped celery leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
⅓ cup uncooked pearl barley
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
½ cup dried lentils
⅛ teaspoon salt
Parmigiano -Reggiano rinds
1 cup Parmigiano -Reggiano, grated

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add broth, 1 cup water, and beer; bring to a boil. Add chopped carrot and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaves); return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in lentils; cover and cook 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

Place 1½ cups broth mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan, and stir in salt and drop in rinds. Return mixture to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Top individual servings with grated cheese. Serves 4

Categories: .Bayview School of Cooking!, Soup | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Soup Weather

  1. John Rowen

    Nice post. It’s interesting that you went with canola oil instead of olive oil. You are right about coming into soup season. Even in warm parts of the West, it is getting cold at night and there is nothing like a bowl of soup to fight off the draft. What kind of beer do you like in this recipe?

    • Thank you! You could certainly use light or regular olive oil, but I wouldn’t waste EVOO on this–the flavors of the herbs and beer would overpower it. I usually use whatever beer is on hand but avoid anything too hoppy and anything really dark. Happy soup making! -Leanne

      • John Rowen

        Thanks for the advice and clarification. Good point about not wasting extra virgin olive oil and going with something not too hoppy. We need to develop a paying reason for you to come to America’s North Coast, to try Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, by Great Lakes Brewing Company. That might be a good beer flavor to add. So far, it has not sunk any of its drinkers.

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