This Meatless Monday I made a lentil soup that wasn't gross. And it wasn't on Monday since we had leftovers and I had a meeting. But whatever. Given the chicken stock in the last recipe it's starting as more of a "Mostly Meatless Monday" thing anyhow.
The way that first sentence came out reminds me of a time back when I was serving as the World's Worst Waitress at a divey joint in Bellingham. I got in trouble by my boss/local mafia captain for "warning" people about the soup of the day. In my defense, I would've appreciated that warning as a customer. Mr. Mafia added mushrooms to the creamy broccoli soup. See how that could be a surprise to the unsuspecting mushroom hater? So as I told people the specials I ended with this: "Oh, and the soup of the day is Cream of Broccoli, but it has mushrooms in it."
Anyway, this lentil soup calls for mushrooms for you non-haters, consider yourself warned.
Lentil Stew -
Source: Betty Crocker's New Choices Cookbook. Found under the "Meatless Main Dishes" tab, which I formerly would've figured meant large portions of appetizers and salads. It's Low fat, low cholesterol, low calorie, high fiber and surprisingly tasty, too. Matt and Sam slurped up second helpings, with Matt saying the only thing he would change about this Meatless Monday selection is the addition of ham. "Yeah, smoked would be good."
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I haven't chopped garlic since I bought a garlic press a few years ago. I've never once thought to myself, "gee, wish I'd chopped instead so my hands still stink when I go to bed.")
2 cups coarsely chopped potatoes (about 2 medium) I'm not sure what coarsely chopped means, or why it matters how they're chopped. Also, I can't verify that it's 2 medium potatoes because mine all had those freaky growths and I had to cut around 6 small potatoes to get what I thought might be 2 medium. I'm sure you take stock of your ingredients better than I do.
1 cup dried lentils (bonus, lentils don't need to be soaked)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or more, if you're me)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mace (I had to Google to see what this was and used 1/8 tsp Allspice instead per Google search)
8 oz small mushrooms, cut into halves (gross, right? Mr. Mafia man isn't around so feel free to skip this step.)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. They aren't kidding about the frequently. I burned it a titch, only enough to bother Lucy. Stir in remaining ingredients; break up tomatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender.