Monday, November 5, 2012

French Green Lentil Soup (and How to Make Brown Stock, Frugal Farm Fresh Feast Style)


http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html

You know how I keep yammering on about saving all the unused bits and pieces of your farm share veggies in a Soup Pack?  Today I'm going to show you how I use a soup pack to make a brown (beef) stock, then use some of that stock to make soup.

This soup got started with the cow taking up residence in my freezer.  I asked for all the odds and ends of the beast, from tongue to tail and odd bits in between.  We got several packages of "soup bones" and today I got one out, along with a soup pack.  Instead of randomly throwing ingredients and insufficient salt into the pot, like I usually do, I decided to <gasp!> follow a recipe.  Well, loosely.

I consulted my handy 1950 Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook.  I was interested to read "Store covered in jars in the refrigerator.  The layer of fat on top will help preserve the stock." I usually freeze soup stock, and at this time of year freezer space is at a premium, so I gave it a go.  I heated the jars as if I was going to can the stock, then poured the strained (ooh!  used my cheesecloth! bonus!) stock into the hot jars.  I used my plastic screw top lids since they work in the fridge or freezer.  When I was ready to make soup I scooped off the fat layer (reminded me of my mom's wax on top of jam) and poured out the stock.



http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html

How to Make Brown Stock

adapted from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook, 1950

1 package (2 pounds) beef soup bones
1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 quarts cold water
1 Soup Pack (or, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/2 cup chopped carrot or carrot peels and ends, 1/2 cup chopped onion or 1 cup packed onion skins and ends, 1/2 cup chopped celery, or celery leaves and ends)
10 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 3 3 inch stems fresh thyme)
1 Tablespoon salt

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Brown meat on all sides.  Add water.  Bring slowly to a boil.  Skim the scum.  Say that 3 times fast.  Skimthescum.Skimthescum.Skimthescum. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover, and simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.  Strain through cheesecloth.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html
fresh from the fridge


You know how you read a bunch of recipes calling for an ingredient you've never seen, then, some time later, you stumble over that ingredient--so of course you buy it?  Then you have to re-find those recipes and figure out what to do with that rare-to-you ingredient?

You're reading a food blog.  I suspect this has happened to you.  I'm going to call it the French Green Lentil Effect.

This time (ok, it happens to me often) I was at the farmer's market picking up dill seed for my pickling adventures when I saw a bag of French green lentils in the same stall.  I'd read a bunch of recipes calling for them, so why not?  I promptly put them into the pantry and forgot about them.

Until today--when I wanted to make beef and barley soup and stumbled over the French green lentils while searching for a non-existent bag of barley.  Semper Gumby.  I'm making French green lentil soup instead!

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html
before the immersion blender appeared

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html

French Green Lentil Soup

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's French Green Lentil Soup

1 1/2 teaspoon oil (OlivExtra today)
1 white onion, chopped
2 green onions, white and a little bit of green, chopped
6 thin stalks celery, leaves included, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped  (peels and ends to the composting pigs!)
2 cloves roasted garlic (or 2 cloves minced garlic
1 quart slow-roasted tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons French Thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
2 quarts beef stock (see above)
1 1/4 cup French green lentils, soaked in recently-boiled water for 15 minutes, then drained and rinsed thoroughly
Optional-chopped beef leftover from making stock, or chopped smoked sausage, about 1/2 pound

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté 10-15 minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic, tomatoes and paste, spices, and cheese rind.  Stir.  Pour in beef stock, bring to a gentle boil. Add lentils.  Cover and reduce heat to keep the soup at a slow simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If desired (by children who like smoother soups), blend with an immersion blender. Add in optional meat after blending.  Delicious on a cold rainy day, with a loaf of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes on the side.

This post is linked up with What's In The Box at In Her Chucks and Food On Friday (twice).
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2012/11/french-green-lentil-soup-and-how-to.html
This totally reminds me of Stitch from that Disney movie Lilo and Stitch.

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I just got a new bag of lentils (not French green, just brown I guess) in the marked down section of the store. Time for a new batch. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I think lentils are completely underrated, and it's amazing how you make your own stock. I've been tossing my unused bits and snippets down the disposal (it breaks my heart; I'm working on composting soon), but this is a much better idea. Thanks so much!

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    Replies
    1. Meghan, I would like to say it's a difficult and painstaking process but in reality it's too damn easy not to, you know? I just typed up a chicken stock post where I literally throw the carcass from a rotisserie chicken into my crock pot, add a soup pack and water, and walk away. Then I come back, turn on the crock pot to low (key!) and walk away again. Lydia at the SoupChick blog (or A Perfect Pantry?) has some great stock tutorials too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. This soup looks absolutely divine! Love lentils...love meat. Match made in heaven :)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up.

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    Replies
    1. Heather, thanks for hosting! I get such inspiration from your links (as well as your site). The other day I ate an Indian lentil soup as a starter and now I'm obsessed with recreating that. I have brown lentils, not yellow, but I have plenty of turmeric. Stay tuned. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Ooh la la - I am going to have to give this a go. Cheers

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    Replies
    1. Carole,
      Thanks for hosting Food on Friday!

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