Monday, May 21, 2012

Red Lentil Soup with Mint and Beet Greens

Another beet recipe, yipee!  You should have seen the monstrous bunch of beets I got from the CSA this week.  I have enough beet greens to make this recipe five times I think.  And what I love the most is that when I got to the farm to pick up my food, they had run out of beets.  The guy asked me if I minded waiting a few minutes while they went and harvested some more.  Of course not!  I was so happy to get a bunch of beets that were directly out of the ground.  It doesn't get more fresh than that!  This is why CSA's are so awesome and I encourage everyone to get involved with a local CSA if possible.  I got a lot of other goodies this week including collards, green onions, squash, zucchini, turnips, lettuce, kale and radishes. 

Of course I modified this recipe quite a bit.  My husband gets upset when I don't follow recipes exactly, so if you're like him, see the original recipe.  And although I didn't include mushrooms this time, I think they would be a great addition!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • a dozen or so mint leaves, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • beet greens, removed from one bunch of beets, cleaned and sliced
  • 1o cups of water
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup millet, rinsed (the original recipe calls for bulgur wheat, which would probably be better but has gluten so that's why I switched it out.  Quinoa or another whole grain would be good as well.)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • extra mint, for garnish, optional
1.  Heat the oil in a medium soup pot. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes, till translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.

2.  Now, add the mint, salt, and coriander. Mix well and cook for another minute or two.

3.  Add the beet greens and cook for a few minutes till they are softened and heated through.

4.  Add the lentils, millet and about 10 cups of water.  More or less water may be needed depending on the amount of greens used, just be sure the water covers the top of the greens.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a very gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding water as needed if it seems too thick.

5. After the 1/2 hour of cooking, add the tomato and cook for about 10 minutes longer.

6.  Immediately before serving, whisk in the egg. Serve, garnished with mint if desired.

I'm not sure how to make this soup look appetizing.  It just wasn't pretty, but it tasted good!

What else can you do with beet greens?  Don't let these nutritional gems go to waste, so click here for some ideas!

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