Lentil and Escarole Soup
If you can't find French green lentils, substitute brown lentils.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup French green lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole canned tomatoes, drained, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 escarole, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, bay leaf, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and 5 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees. Toast bread cubes on a baking sheet, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Add escarole to soup, and cook for 5 minutes more. Adjust seasonings, and serve in four bowls topped with croutons and olive oil.