Smoked Tea Lentil Soup

Lapsang Souchong is a smoked black tea.  I think of it as the scotch of tea.  It is intensely smokey and rich and lends an amazing flavor to this hearty lentil soup.  I happened to have leeks and swiss chard in the fridge when I made this, but you could substitute onion and spinach.  This soup freezes well, so when I make it I make a large batch and freeze it in individual lunch-size portions.

Smoked Tea Lentil Soup

Smoked Tea Lentil Soup
Serves 6
A hearty winter soup with an unusual twist from the smoked tea.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 TBSP olive oil
  2. 1/2 leek, sliced in thirds lengthwise and then cut crosswise to create small pieces (just slicing crosswise to create half moons would create a stringy texture in the soup)
  3. 1/4 small onion, finely diced
  4. 1/4 small fennel bulb, finely diced
  5. 1 rib celery, finely diced
  6. 1 carrot, finely diced
  7. 3-4 leaves of swiss chard, stems removed and finely chopped, and leaves finely chopped (optional)
  8. 1 TBSP herbs de provance
  9. 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed
  10. 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1 cup dry green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  13. 1 bay leaf
  14. 5 cups vegetable broth
  15. 1 8oz can diced tomatoes or 4 large roma tomatoes, diced
  16. 1 cup strong brewed lapsang souchong tea
  17. 1 TBSP sherry vinegar
  18. 2 TBSP italian parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium heat.
  2. Add leeks, onion, celery, carrot and swiss chard stems (if using) and cook for about 5 minutes until vegetables to begin to release their liquid.
  3. Add herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add lentils, bay leaf and broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cover and simmer for ~30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking to see if more liquid is needed. If soup begins to get too thick, add water or more broth to thin it out.
  6. When lentils are cooked and vegetables are soft, remove soup from heat and stir in the tea, sherry vinegar and parsley. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately, or refrigerate or freeze for later use.
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