Sunday, June 22, 2008

Savory Rhubarb and Lentil Soup

I like savory rhubarb dishes and my rhubarb corner in the garden is overflowing with bounty right now. I was thinking about soup since I just bought a nice new Le Crueset soup pot on sale from amazon. A quick google search pointed me to just the inspiration I was looking for. I found a recipe for Rhubarb-Lentil Soup with Crème Fraîche. My proportions were slightly different and I made it from what I had on hand. The soup turned out really wonderful. The rhubarb completely disintegrates in the soup. If you didn't know it was there you probably wouldn't be able to identify it as rhubarb but it does add a foundation of tartness that is so important for this recipe.

Here is the ingredient list for my savory rhubarb lentil soup:

1 cup green lentils
1.5 cups chopped onions
1.5 cups chopped carrots
2.5 cups chopped rhubarb
6 cloves garlic
3/4 cup white wine
3.5 cups chicken stock
2 pinches dried thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp fresh dill

First the lentils. I used dried green lentils and presoaked them with boiling water for 15 minutes to soften them and speed up their cooking.

The rhubarb, carrots, onions and garlic were all finely diced or chopped.

I started with a hot soup pot (I really love this Le Crueset!). A tbsp of olive oil and the onions and carrots went in first. These were seasoned with salt and pepper and sautéed for about 5 minutes until the onions were starting to soften nicely.

Next the rhubarb and garlic were added. These were cooked for 3-4 minutes until the rhubarb started to soften and disintegrate.

Here's what it looked like after the rhubarb was broken down.

I deglazed the pot with the white wine (2004 Santa Rita sauvignon blanc from Chile). The chicken stock and lentils were then added. I threw in a couple of bay leaves and a pinch of thyme. The soup was brought up to a boil, covered and allowed to simmer.

After about 40 minutes the lentis were nicely cooked through. I took about 1/3 of the soup mixture and puréed it in a blender until smooth. This was added back to the rest of the soup.

Instead of crème fraîche I used plain yogurt. This was mixed with fresh dill and dollopped on top of the soup. I also served a side salad with stawberries and walnuts. The greens were dressed with a bit of the yogurt/dill and some balsamic vinegar.


Jackie said...

Rhubarb and lentils in soup - never would have thought of pairing those two. Sounds extremely intriguing!

Kevin said...

I like the sound of this soup. I have been wanting to try using rhubarb in a savoury dish.

Astra Libris said...

Oooooh! I love adding fruit to lentil soup (a personal favorite of mine is red lentil and fig soup), and the rhubarb is a positively ingenious idea!