Lentil Soup with Spinach and Cumin
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- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 leeks (white part only), chopped - may substitute 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, with leaves, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lentils, rinced
- 2 ham hocks
- 10 cups chicken stock
- 1 lb. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- juice of one fresh lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
1In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and saute leeks or onion, celery and carrots over a moderate heat, until soft.
2Add cumin and garlic and saute vegetables 2 more minutes.
3Add rinsed, drained lentils, ham hocks and chicken stock and bring soup to a boil. Lower heat, cover pot PARTLY, and simmer for 1 hour.
4Remove ham hocks. Puree about half of the cooked lentils in a blender or food processor. Be careful if you are using a blender, as the hot soup will rise, so use only 3-4 ladles at a time. Return the pureed soup to the stock pot.
5Add the chopped spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and simmer soup an additional 15 minutes.
6If the soup seems too thick, you can add some additional chicken stock. It is thick and delicious and great served with a country bread.