Lentil soup and morbier

red lentils

This one is for my dad, who is in Norway right now and loves it when I blog about food. Especially soup.

Yesterday I was looking for a soup recipe to use up the red lentils I had in my cupboard and some of the bacon I had in the fridge. (Obviously these two were going to work together so that part of the process was pretty easy…)

I found this one.  It was incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. The kids LOVED it.

Steamed fresh green beans with lemon and a little butter, baguette and some French cheese rounded out the meal.

I went to our local Kowalskis and asked for a cheese recommendation. The cheese specialist suggested a Morbier:

Morbier Cheese


Morbier is an aromatic and surprisingly mild French cow’s milk AOC cheese defined by the dark vein of vegetable ash streaking through it middle. It has a mild flavor and wonderful, nutty aftertaste. Find out more here.

On the subject of salt, I was warned that the cheese was somewhat salty and it would be perfect with the lentils and veggies as long as the soup was not already very salty. I hardly added any salt to the soup and it was perfectly seasoned.  Don’t you agree that nothing ruins a meal faster than oversalting?

Maybe Anna could suggest how she would adapt this for vegetarians? I would love to know.

My notes:

I also added about a cup of Glen Muir Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Just because I like their flavor, and they were on sale.

Soon I’ll be able to get the chives right out of my own garden! For now, I used all dried herbs.

I also didn’t have a heavy Dutch oven. Though I would love to have one. A big pot with a lid seemed to work just fine.

I skipped the puree step and it made no difference to us.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Hearty Lentil Soup with Bacon and Herbs

We adapted this recipe from one by Terrance Brennan, the chef-owner of Picholine restaurant in New York. He tops the soup with strips of smoked salmon.

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 7 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups dried lentils (about 12 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives or green onions

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Hearty-Lentil-Soup-with-Bacon-and-Herbs-1532#ixzz0lGYpBxgz

Combine onion, celery, carrot, bacon and garlic in heavy Dutch oven. Stir over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover; add 7 cups broth, lentils, thyme and bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Transfer half of soup to processor; cool slightly. Puree until smooth. Return puree to Dutch oven. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Bring soup to simmer, thinning with more broth, if desired. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine parsley and chives in small bowl. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle parsley mixture over and serve.

Epicurious, Bon Appétit, March 1996

5 Responses to Lentil soup and morbier

  1. Anna April 16, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    I have a perfect suggestion on how to make this vegetarian…leave out the bacon and use veggie stock or broth!

    Using a little smoked spanish paprika for adding a little smoky flavor (in addition to your smoky fire roasted tomatoes, which I love) is perfect for the depth of flavor that smoked meats impart. You can buy Piment de la Vera (smoked spanish paprika) at Bill’s Imported Foods on Lake + Aldrich or in the bulk herbs and spice section at the Wedge.

    You could always use red lentils to make a fabulous Bengali dal, and get all of the anti-inflammatory benefits of ginger, tumeric and chiles in one fell swoop. Next time. 🙂

    And I LOVE morbier – one of my favorites.

  2. Lynne W. April 16, 2010 at 7:59 am #

    What a surprise – I, too, have been looking at different vegetable soup recipes with lentils this week – think I’ll try yours!

    By the way, your dinner sounds quite wonderful…..

    I thought of you balancing motherhood/career/etc. when I heard Bill Moyers interview Louise Erdrich last Friday night – she read a wonderful poem about that very topic…….the entire interview is available on the Bill Moyers Journal website……lynne

  3. Jeremy G April 16, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Tastes even better as leftovers for lunch! xo

  4. Doris April 17, 2010 at 4:05 am #

    thanks Rachel-as always, whether about food or life, your blog is inspiring and edifying. I hope your retreat is all you hope it to be. So often when I read of what you are doing I wish I was closer.
    Te quiero!

  5. Amy Haley April 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    I have the ingredients. I’ll make it tomorrow. xo

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