Toronto winter 2013, I have to admit that I’m impressed with you. You had a weak start, but you’ve pulled through with snow that’s stayed and cold that’s brought out my wool hat & scarf. And you’ve been the perfect excuse for hearty cold-weather soups like this Turkish spinach & lentil recipe, which has kept me cozy all weekend long.
This is a soup for lazy days – it’s wholesome and low-maintenance for a slow-moving, spent-last-night-celebrating-Ciara’s-birthday weekend start. But it’s also so packed with good things that its leftovers make a perfect one-dish meal when you’re rushed and on the go. It’s something you can serve to your dairy-free and vegan friends; if you swapped rice for the bulgur, you could serve it to your gluten-free friends too. It reminded me of a faster, wintertime-version of the Transylvanian Eggplant Casserole from the same cookbook.
It’s also delicious. I think you’re going to love it.
Turkish Spinach and Lentil Soup
from Sundays at Moosewood
1 cup dried lentils
5 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup raw bulgur (or rice, if you’d like the recipe to be gluten-free)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1/4 cup tomato paste
pinch of dried rosemary
salt & pepper
2 cups spinach, stemmed and chopped
chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
1. In a medium pot, combine the lentils, water and salt over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering, for 40 minutes.
2. While lentils are cooking, pour oil into a large pot. Heat over medium-low and add onions, sauteeing until softened. Increase heat to medium and add garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, and bulgur. Stir until lightly browned. Add parsley and tomatoes and their juices. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to combine.
3. Add lentils and their cooking liquid to the bulgur & vegetables. Leave it to simmer for 15 minutes. If needed, add additional water or stock. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt & pepper, and remove the bay leaves. Add spinach, stirring until just wilted, and remove from heat. Serve garnished with parsley.