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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Deanna's Lentil Vegetable Soup

Because it's OK to be a copy-cat sometimes.

You know how some people have a favorite restaurant that serves their favorite dish, and those people will always choose that beloved restaurant when given the option because they know they get to order that killer meal, and they look forward to it all day, and after they eat it they feel all warm and happy inside and know that their lives are now complete?  Yeah?  Well, I have a favorite canned soup that makes me feel that way.  I know, it's weird. But just work with me here.

When I don't have time to cook and I don't have any left-overs in the fridge, and I need something quick to grab for lunch, my favorite thing is Amy's Kitchen soup.  [Does this sound like an endorsement to you? Maybe I should write to them and ask for commission...]  Particularly the lentil vegetable soup.  I don't know what it is about that soup but I am completely in love.  However, at $2.50 a can, and more sodium than I ought to be consuming in one meal (I can eat the whole can in one sitting... and almost always do), I got to thinking that I could probably figure out how to make this soup myself.  So I set to work last week and came up with this.  It's not exactly the same, but it's awfully close and it's still delicious and filling and comforting and super duper simple to make.  That's not to say that I'll never buy the canned stuff again (let's get serious, with my lack of time management skills, I'll find myself starving for soup with not enough time to cook again at some point in my life... probably next week), but  this is a fantastic alternative.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup green lentils
3 1/2 cups water
2 bay leaves
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 lb frozen mixed vegetables
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp molasses
A few drops of liquid smoke, optional
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pressure cooker on medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 min or until onions are soft.  Add the lentils, water, and bay leaves and fasten the pressure cooker lid.  Turn heat up to high to bring the pot up to pressure.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 min.  Remove pressure cooker from heat and release the pressure (do this according to the directions for your own device).  Remove lid and return pan to medium high heat.  Add the tomatoes, veg broth, cumin, oregano, and  poultry seasoning, and stir to mix well.  Add in the veggies, balsamic vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke (if using) and stir it all up.  Cook for another 7-10 min until veggies are cooked through.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

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