Beef and Lentil Soup

As I am typing this I am listening to Christmas music with my windows wide open, sweating. It's Dec 22nd and it's going to be 70 degrees today. I do not live in Florida. I hate this weather. I could never, ever live in Florida. So in honor of 70 degrees on December 22nd you get a soup recipe. If it's cold where you are, make this soup. It will warm your heart and soul. I adore lentils.

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 tsp oregano
6 (14 ounce) beef broth
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes in their juice
2 cups (11 ounces) lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup fresh parley, chopped (optional)

Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 the meat to the pot and cook until brown (about 8 minutes) remove with a slotted spoon and repeat with remaining meat. Add celery, carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, oregano to pot. cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and accumulated juices to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low cover and simmer until meat is tender (about and hour) stirring frequently.Add lentils. Cover and continue simmering until the lentils are tender (about 40 minutes) Season soup with salt and pepper to taste. Add parsley (optional) Enjoy.

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