For this recipe, I started with our classic Lentil Soup with Aromatic Vegetables and added some fresh crimini mushrooms for extra flavor and texture. It made for a very yummy variation, and a nice change of pace.
Serve with a green salad and lots of crusty bread for a light but satisfying and nutritious meal.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 to 12 ounces crimini (brown) mushrooms, quartered lengthwise, and larger quarters cut in half*
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
1 cup brown lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrot, and celery, and saute for 3-5 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Do not let the garlic get brown.
Add the vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
Uncover. Stir in the parsley, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 more minutes to blend all the flavors and reduce the liquid as desired to a good soup consistency.
Remove and discard the bay leaf before serving.
-- 3-4 servings
* Note: Crimini mushrooms are sometimes sold as “baby portobellos” or “baby bellas”. If you cannot find them, feel free to substitute other wild mushrooms or regular white mushrooms.