I'm including my rough recipe for what I call "Lentil and Farro Soup" and what my kids simply call...
The Good Soup
Plan ahead when making a large quantity of soup. I make my own veggie broth simply by saving odds and ends of carrot, celery, and onion in a bag in my freezer. Once a month when its my turn to make soup, I put all my mirepoix scraps into my slow cooker and turn it on low over night. In the morning, strain and you have a rich homemade veggie broth. This is an affordable soup to make, and the key to the beauty of it is an ingredient that is free, time. What makes this peasant soup taste rich are 3 things: homemade broth, roasted garlic, and caramelized onions. It doesn't cost anything extra, but a bit of extra effort takes ordinary ingredients and makes them extraordinary. The other key to soup in large quantities is adequate seasoning. Never underestimate the importance salt and pepper, Never.
To roast garlic: My favorite way to roast garlic is to cut the heads, place them in foil, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 450 for about 30 minutes until the garlic cloves are soft and pop right out of the papery bulbs, It's not much work, and your house will smell like heaven, If you are going to roast one head of garlic, you might as well roast six, at least that's my opinion, but I digress.
The Good Soup (A large quantity)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
4 onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery, diced
2 whole heads roasted garlic
6 quarts homemade veggie stock
2 15 oz cans diced tomato
2 cups red lentils
2 cups pearled farro, barley, or bulgur.
pinches of fresh rosemary, thyme,marjoram,oregano, and 2 bay leaf.
Take time to slowly caramelize your diced onions in the 1/2 cup of olive oil, this can take up to 35 minute, so listen to some good music, have a glass of wine and be happy while making your soup! I like to chop my carrot and celery while I'm waiting for my onions to slowly caramelize into sweet smelling heaven. When they are lovely golden and juicy, deglaze the pot with your red wine. Let the wine simmer down into a syrupy consistency and then its time to go in with the carrots and celery, plenty (plenty! a handful!) of salt and pepper, and let the mirepoix get soft just for a bit sprinkling in all your beautiful roasted garlic and fresh herbs and stirring about with an old wooden spoon. Next it's time to put in your tomato and let it get acquainted with your other veggies for a moment. When this all has a sizzle going, add your veggie broth, plenty more salt and pepper, and your lentils and grains. Red lentils and pearled grains both only take between 15-20 minutes to cook, but it will take a while for your big soup pot to come up to a boil. Make sure to test your soup for seasoning and adjust as needed. If the flavors just don't seem to pop, you often just need more salt and pepper. You can easily pare this recipe down, but it's worth making a big batch because it holds up so well and is so economical, it's a weekly staple at our house. Sometimes I add a bit of small diced potato along with the other veggies and it's very nice, it is also lovely to add ribbons of greens towards the end of cooking time. It's endlessly adaptable, I hope you'll make it your own!
With Love, Bonnie
A Declaration of Food Sharing
We declare that soup shall be Shared.
Why soup? Soup scales up and Travels well.
Soup is economical, basic, and Nondenominational.
Soup Club is A State of Being, not a monthly meeting.
We are not limited to Special Occasion soup for holidays, births, moving or grief.
Salt your soup. Embrace crushed red pepper.
A black belt is a white belt who Never Quit. Make your soup.
Never Apologize for your soup.
Make soup with Abandon.
Remember, it’s just Soup.