Friday, June 15, 2012

lentil soup with rhubarb and garlic scapes

This is a very simple and quick soup for utilizing what late spring in NYC has to offer. Rhubarb and garlic scapes are perfectly in season right now and both add a bright and dynamic flavor to an otherwise kind of bland, run-of-the-mill vegetarian soup. Garlic scapes are the curly green flower stalks of garlic bulbs and have an almost asparagus-like herbaceous taste without all the sting of raw garlic. I sauteed them in this recipe for a couple of minutes, which really mellows them out. The rhubarb also needs just a couple minutes of sauteing to bring out the lovely lemon zestiness of its stalk. 

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup red lentils (washed and picked through for any stones or non-edibles)
4 cups veggie broth
2 cups chopped rhubarb (one inch think pieces)
2 cups thinly sliced garlic scapes
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or any herb you please- parsley or dill would go well too)

In a heavy stock pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add garlic scapes and rhubarb and a sprinkling of sea salt. Sautee for only a couple minutes and then add lentils and veggie broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir every once in a while to make sure lentils aren't sticking to bottom of pan. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender. Ladle into soup bowls and top with a good helping of chopped herbs and freshly ground pepper.

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