Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lentil Soup with Seared Artichoke Hearts and Goat Cheese

Well it has been mostly raining for the last 24 hours in Portland and while it is dreary I will say I kind of like it right now.  This is probably because I have either been working or cuddled up in my comfy warm home.  So last Friday as I mentioned in the last post we went to the restaurant Yuzu for my fiance's birthday dinner and it was absolutely delicious!  We started with Gyoza and Gyu Wafu Steak and both were very delicious, the steak was buttery tasting and tender. Then I ordered the Cya Syu Men Ramen with the soy sauce broth and I was very pleased. The soup was so good I ate the entire bowl in one sitting which is not something I am usually capable of. This is a legit ramen restaurant that I definitely recommend checking out.  How is everybody's Tuesday going?  I am always just so happy that it isn't Monday anymore plus I have a fun meeting with The Portland Kitchen tonight.  While I still do community outreach and grant research for them we are forming a real marketing team that I have been invited to be on so tonight is our first official meeting.  I love volunteering for such an amazing non-profit, it is so encouraging and inspirational.  Let's talk food.  I adapted this recipe on a cold rainy night so perhaps you should tonight.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
3 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
Olive oil
1 cup lentils
1/2 tbsp Cumin
1 qt vegetable broth
1 Bay Leaf
1 whole sprigs thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups artichoke hearts, steamed
Goat cheese crumbles, garnish (optional)

The Process
1.  Set a large, dry dutch oven over medium heat and drop in the Garlic cloves with their peels still on. Let them toast for a few minutes on each side, until the skins are browned and fragrant, and set aside.

2.  Roughly chop the onion, carrots, and celery. Add the olive oil to the dutch oven and saute until browned and tender.   Peel and smash up the garlic and add it back to the pot, along with the lentils and cumin. Cook for a few seconds, until the lentils are nicely coated in oil. Empty the broth into the pot and add the bay leaf and whole sprig of thyme. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf and thyme.

3.  With about 10 minutes left of cooking the soup heat up some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  When hot add your steamed artichoke hearts and sear until slightly crisp and browned, about 5 minutes.  Set aside

4.  When soup is done cooking season with salt and pepper.  Serve into 4 bowls and put about 1/2 cup browned artichoke hearts in each bowl.  Garnish each bowl with goat cheese and serve.

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