This soup is the essence of winter. The leeks and potatoes from my Full Circle Farms deliveries had been accumulating in my fridge and pantry. This soup is an amazing use of these simple ingredients. I make this soup for dinner and take/send the leftovers to be reheated in the office microwave the next day. I like to serve this with homemade croutons (in this case I made pumpernickel croutons) and a bright salad (anything with apples or beets would be perfect).
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
A hearty winter soup with an unusual twist from the smoked tea.
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 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)
- 1/4 small onion finely diced
- 1/4 small fennel bulb finely diced
- 1 rib celery finely diced
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 3-4 leaves of swiss chard stems removed and finely chopped, and leaves finely chopped (optional)
- 1 TBSP herbs de provance
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves removed
- 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup dry green or brown lentils rinsed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 8 oz can diced tomatoes or 4 large roma tomatoes diced
- 1 cup strong brewed lapsang souchong tea
- 1 TBSP sherry vinegar
- 2 TBSP italian parsley chopped
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium heat.
- 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.
- Add herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add lentils, bay leaf and broth and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate or freeze for later use.