Onion and Lentil Soup
“Once upon a time, on the North Shore of Long Island there lived a small girl on a very large estate…” So begins Sabrina, a movie about a chauffeur’s daughter who is sent off to Paris so she can forget her infatuation with her father’s rich employers younger son.
When Sabrina returns home, she has transformed from gawky to stunning. Of course, she catches the eye of her former crush. As they go about the business of falling in love, their budding romance is jeapodized by the older brother who has other plans for his younger brother’s life.
In the original movie, Sabrina is played by Audrey Hepburn and the older brother is played by Humphrey Bogart.
This soup reminds me of the original movie… elegant, with a hint of the down-to-earthiness that came before.
- Prep Time1 hr 10 min
- Cook Time45 min
- Total Time1 hr 55 min
- Serving Size8 servings
- 8 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 Tablespoons safflower or olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup sherry (optional, but really good!)
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme or 2 Tablespoons Fresh thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 12 cups well flavored stock *
- 1 ½ cup Puy (green) lentils
- ½ t pepper
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 loaf French or Chibata bread
- 2 cups grated gruyere or swiss cheese (Leave the cheese off to make this recipe vegan.)
Preparing the soup
Heat the oil and butter in a large soup potover medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized. Be patient, this can take up to an hour but it is worth the wait!
Once the onions are caramelized, turn the heat to high and add the wine. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated. Reduce the heat back down to medium and add the sherry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and cook, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes more. Add the stock, herbs, nutritional yeast and lentils and cook over medium-low heat for 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaves.
While the soup is simmering...
While the soup is simmering, break the bread into bite size chunks (this is a great job for little hands) and toast on a baking sheet in an oven set at 350 for 10 minutes or just until beginning to toast.
Add soup to bowls, cover with a handful of your toasted bread and sprinkle with cheese. For added elegance, pop under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese.
Do you know someone who would love this recipe?
The simple yet profound gift of wholehearted attention.
My husband and I spent the weekend visiting our son. He’s a freshman in college and we managed to schedule our visit the weekend before midterms, just when his full, challenging schedule could have benefited from a weekend of study time.
But he didn’t use that as an excuse.
Instead, he worked hard before we arrived.
He figured out what needed to be done and how to get it done without the extra study time.
He talked to his professors and let them know he was juggling a parent visit with midterms and papers and asked for guidance… and got it.
He was 100% present with us the entire weekend.
He wasn’t worrying about what he wasn’t doing.
He wasn’t distracted or cranky or wishing he was someplace else.
He made us his priority despite how busy he was and we knew it.
The message was as wholehearted as the feeling it conveyed.
He made us feel special and loved all the way down to the core.
What a gift.
It made me think about how no one is really too busy to pay attention to the people they love. It’s just a matter of priority.
It also made me think about all of the times throughout his life that I used “busy” as an excuse; wasting precious time by multi-tasking or only half listening or by not being fully present.
I never meant to convey anything but the message I most want him to know… the message that he is special and loved all the way to the core of his very being. But sometimes, I messed up.
But he didn’t.
My children have consistently taught me more than I could ever hope to teach them and even though they are currently living thousands of miles away it seems they’re still in the game of educating their mom.
This weekend my son helped me learn that instead of using busy as an excuse we can decide we have time. We can decide that being with ours kids, parents, partner or friends is the most important thing we are doing. We can decide to make sure they know they are special and loved all the way to the core of their being. And we can do this with the simple, yet profound gift of wholehearted attention.