Trust me when I tell you that I am nowhere near ready for cold weather recipes.
I am currently reveling in juicy heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini bread, and other seasonal delights that will soon disappear in a snap. Summer forever! So, while this soup might seem obnoxiously early on the seasonal forefront, it is merely an extension of my need to eat clean. A warm bowl of nutrient dense lentils and veggies is in order to cure the indulgence from our recent vacation. Only problem is, I think that I’m still on vacation…
That’s why I have this cheat’s version.
How does one cheat a soup recipe? The food processor.
As much as I love my food processor, I don’t use it very often because I’m too lazy to deal with it. It’s usually buried behind a million things and I have trouble fitting the pieces into the dishwasher properly. But ever since we moved, my tune has changed. We have much better cabinet space in our new kitchen. It now has its own designated spot without obstructions, leaving me more inclined to use it. The dishwasher though? There’s no hope.
The food processor cuts your prep time down to literally nothing. I use the slicer blade, which does all of the work for you; there’s no chopping involved. Not only that, the veggies are sliced super thin which means that they will cook fast. I should’ve called this ‘cheat’s speedy lentil soup.’
In about 15 minutes, your house will be filled with fragrant herbs, fennel, and tomato…
This recipe varies from a traditional lentil soup, in that it’s not quite as thick and dried lentils are replaced with canned. Although the dried variety cooks relatively fast (and is usually my preference) the need for speed supersedes us here.
The food processor method is perfect for those lazy days when you want to eat quick and healthy. Don’t forget the bread!
- 2 slices of good quality bacon (optional)*
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 baby fennel (or ½ regular fennel bulb)
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 c. yellow swiss chard leaves, stems reserved
- 1 juicy beefsteak tomato
- 1 quart chicken stock + more as needed
- 1x 14 oz. can of lentils, rinsed + drained
- olive oil
- salt + pepper
- ¼ c. roughly chopped parsley
- parmesan cheese
- In a heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven, warm a teaspoon of olive oil over moderate heat. Thinly slice the bacon and add to the pot. Saute until golden.
- Meanwhile, fit your food processor with the slicer blade. Process the onion, garlic, fennel, carrots, and swiss chard stems (reserve the leaves). Depending on how wide your feed tube is, you might need to cut the vegetables to the appropriate size before processing.
- Add the sliced vegetables to the pot and saute until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato and cook until soft.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the lentils.
- Thinly slice the reserved swiss chard leaves and stir into the soup. Cook for about 5 minutes or until wilted.
- Taste the soup, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Add the fresh parsley right before serving.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese and enjoy with warm, crusty bread.