Cooler weather means soups and stews and rarely does a single ingredient get to shine like lentils in this category. Instant thickeners that give any soup body and heft, they are also delicious and readily pair well with all kinds of flavors. That said, I most often enjoy making them the star of the show in a creamy bisque.
Bisques are blended soup that are often given a swirl of heavy cream just before serving. They tend to be soft and velvety with complex flavors. For me, that means a little sweetness and a little heat and a lot of garlic! You could opt for other flavors of course, but I love the very simple combination outlined below and the fact that you can make a batch (or a double batch) of this amazing soup in a half hour.
This bisque would pair well with a grilled cheese sandwich or really any sandwich that has been toasted a bit. I like to sprinkle goat cheese or blue cheese on top for some tanginess and, if the garden is still offering little tomatoes, why not slice a few in half and float those on top too? Enjoy!
- 4-8 cloves garlic, minced (If you love garlic, use all 8!)
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¼ tsp. red chili flakes
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 medium potato, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock, plus more if needed
- 1 c. dried red lentils
- ¼ c. heavy cream - optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the garlic, onion, and chili flakes in the oil until the garlic and onion have softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the potato, chicken or vegetable stock, and dried lentils and bring to a low simmer. Cook, stirring often, until potato and lentils have softened, about 8-10 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a blender or using an immersion blender, pulse until smooth. Add more chicken or vegetable stock if it's very thick.
Stir in the heavy cream, if desired, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes