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Garlic Lentil Soup

So, I was pretty convinced that the gods were against my return to blogging this morning.

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Even though I got my MacBook back safe and sound (and free of charge!), I’m an idiot and wasn’t being careful enough switching my lenses this morning, and the mirror/screen inside my camera fell off.  I very calmly googled for a photo repair shop, called them, then walked over to the bedroom and told Fritz I had to talk to him.  Then I very not-calmly burst into tears.  The guy on the phone told me it would take about four weeks to mail my camera into Canon for repair, and it would probably cost around $300.  I managed to pull myself together and drove over to the camera shop (Rowes, on Mount Hope Ave).

I was greeted as I walked in, and the gentleman at the counter remembered me from my phone call.  When I showed him my camera, he called over the camera technician, who showed me some scratches on the mirror that had fallen off, then grabbed my camera and disappeared into the back.  Less than five minutes later, he walked back out, strode past me silently (I got a little nervous at this point), and started putting one of their lens on my camera and snapping photos.

He FIXED it!  It was just a simple matter of him having the tools to put the mirror back on, and he guessed that it had been loose before I tried to switch out the lens (apparently a relatively common probably with Mark IIs).  Luckily, I hadn’t scratched it on any focal points, so even though you can see the scratch on the mirror itself, there aren’t scratches visible through the viewfinder with a lens on or in pictures.  And he didn’t charge me anything!  I was really impressed with the shop, the customer service, and, of course, the technician himself.  I asked him to marry me, but he said he was already committed.

Speaking of marriage, (smooth transition, right?)–it was Fritz’s and my fifth anniversary yesterday.

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We went out to eat at an amazing restaurant called Owl House.  Everything was incredibly delicious and very complex.  Probably my favorite was the nachos with shaved cabbage slaw and tomatillo salsa.  The nachos weren’t too filling since they weren’t piled insanely high with cheese, beans, etc., and the cabbage was so perfectly acidic and sweet when combined with the spicy salsa and cilantro cream.

All my food experiences have been fabulous lately! I wanted to use up some chicken broth I made after a rotisserie chicken dinner, and found the perfect recipe on Foodgawker.

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Garlic Lentil Soup (recipe adapted slightly from Kitchen Frau)

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • head of garlic (yep, a whole bulb), minced (alternatively, you could roast the head of garlic whole and puree into the soup later)
  • 1 1/4 C red lentils
  • 5 C chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 t ground white pepper
  • 2 t red wine vinegar
  • salt to taste

If you like, you can roast the garlic ahead of time to mellow and sweeten the flavor even more.  Fritz is somewhat sensitive to a strong garlic taste, and I can honestly tell you that he enjoyed this soup as is, without the garlic roasted.  However, if you have the time and inclination, you can cut the top off the garlic bulb, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast for about an hour at 350 degrees, or until soft.

You should roast garlic like this anyway, because it is heaven spread on crusty bread.

Anyway, in a large soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat just until it starts to soften, then add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes longer.  Do not let the garlic brown–this makes it taste bitter.

Add the broth, lentils, bay leaf, and white pepper.  Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until the lentils soften, about 20 minutes.

Take the bay leaf out, and puree the soup.  I used a stick blender, but you could also blend it in batches in a regular blender (take the plastic cap out of the blender top and cover with a cloth so the blender doesn’t explode as the heat builds).

Stir in the vinegar, season with salt to taste, and serve.  I drizzled with olive oil and topped with some crunchy roasted garlic slices.

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This soup was seriously so, so good.  It should be relatively thin, unlike most lentil soups, which made it seem a little more gourmet to me.  Add more broth or water if you need to for a better consistency.

See something that doesn't belong here? Hint: upper right corner.

See something that doesn’t belong here? Hint: upper right corner.

Though it definitely tastes of garlic, it’s not overwhelming.  And the vinegar adds the perfect amount of brightness so the soup tastes sweet and warm, instead of “earthy”, like some lentil soups can.

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Hope you are having some beautiful weather outside like we are today!  We picked up our first CSA of the season today.  This is half of the family share (we are splitting the box with some friends).

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Though we were warned the box would be small (still early in the season–most CSAs start later), I was really happy with what we got: garlic (from last year), green garlic (the green onion-looking thing), arugula, baby lettuce, microbeets, breakfast radishes, tatsoi (like bok choi), and mustard greens.

CSA haul

For scale…this is covering the entire table.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2014/05/31/garlic-lentil-soup/

5 comments

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  1. Maria nielsen

    Congrats on your anniversary! Glad you got your camera all fixed. It’s always nice when you go into a shop and they go out of their way to help. Love this recipe, and I will have to make it. I made the peach strawberry cobbler and my kids loved it!!! Thanks!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks :) Glad you made the cobbler! I love hearing when people make recipes from my blog and they work out :)

  2. Florence

    I’ve just received an E- mail from you. I’m so happy to read you again and see Henry and Emerson. Welcome back .

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Glad to have you back! :)

  3. Chris @ Shared Appetite

    Happy Anniversary! And free camera repair?! Sweeeeeeet! Love it when that kind of unexpected generosity happens :)

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