lentil chickpea soup

It’s a strange experience, to be abroad on a major national holiday such as Thanksgiving. Here in Corsica, there were no cartoon turkeys or Pilgrims adorning elementary school classrooms, no cans of pumpkin puree or cranberry sauce flying off the grocery store shelves, no television sets buzzing with the Patriots tackling the Jets. Thursday passed quietly on the island. Quietly I gave thanks for the particularly sunny day, for my family and friends across the ocean, and for the pot of hearty soup I cooked and feasted on as tribute to the real-deal feasting taking place in dining rooms all over the United States.

This soup–or stew, really–is stick-to-your-bones good. The lentils and chickpeas pack a double punch of protein. The flurry of spices keeps things interesting. And it’s really so easy to make. Once you chow your way through turkey day leftovers, I suggest giving this one a try.

lentil chickpea soup

1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 yukon potatoes, diced
a few tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Serves 6

Our soup, like all good soups, begins with a familiar cast of characters: the dependable yellow onion, the hardworking potato, that colorful yet comforting celery and carrot combo, and–always–garlic. Wash, peel and dice these guys, and you’re well on your way to a perfect pot of soup. I like to keep the chopping small and uniform. Seems like the sensible thing to do.

Place all your veggies in a big soup pot and douse generously with olive oil. Cook for a few minutes then add the spices. Cook for five minutes more then add the can of tomatoes. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Now for some protein. Drain and rinse your chickpeas. Measure your lentils (I used blonde, but red would be very pretty, and green would do just fine, too).

Add chickpeas, lentils, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. And now we wait. Let your soup simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the lentils (and potatoes) are tender. Be sure to keep an eye on this, as you may need to add a cup or so more water if the situation seems to be getting a little thick.

Just before serving, squeeze the juice from one fresh lemon into your pot and stir. Once you’ve ladled a hearty helping of soup into a bowl, add a dash of balsamic vinegar for a kick. Serve with crusty bread. Give thanks.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. sybaritica says:

    Very nice. My wife especially would love this!

  2. Jan K Fields says:

    Good job with the Thanksgiving details, Claire. 🙂

    Usually we have the Cowboys or the Lions in one of the Thanksgiving Classic games, but we did have the Jets and Patriots in a game yesterday so you’re good to go. Maybe we can watch a football game when you come home for Christmas!

  3. Tony says:

    Transatlantic catering business please??

  4. betsy gritter says:

    Sweet Claire…this soup sounds fab. You’re fab, and I miss you. I am thankful for you indeed 🙂

  5. YUM! thanks for the inspiration, claire!! i love your blog…your photos…your writing. thank you for the time and love you invest.

  6. granna2c says:

    What a wonderful dish to have this week! Thanks once again for helping me with my menu planning! 🙂 Have a great week. Love Aunt Teresa

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