Orzo Lentil Soup
The hearty combination of lentils and pasta along with any seasonal vegetables makes a satisfying but delicate ( sort of ) dinner. Ask any Greek or Italian farmer.
2 Tbsp. olive oil (30 ml)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
¼ head savoy cabbage, sliced
1 cup diced butternut squash (250 ml)
¾ cup green or brown lentils, (175 ml
8 cupsvegetable or chickenstock (2 L)
several sprigs whole thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/3 cup orzo or other cut pasta optional (80 ml)
¼ cup pesto (50 ml), see recipe below
1 bunch each fresh Italian parsley and basil , washed, leaves only
2cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (125 ml)
¼ cup shelled and toasted pumpkin seeds (50 ml)
1 dried chile , crushed , optional
grated zest of 1 lemon
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium setting. Add the onion andsweat for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add celery and carrots and cook for another 3 minutes to soften. Add cabbage, squash, lentils, stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. If adding orzo, add 15 minutes into cooking of soup.
Meanwhile, place parsley and basil in food processor with peeled garlic and pulse to chop. With machine running, gradually add olive oil in a slow stream until smooth. Add the pumpkin seeds, chile, lemon zest ,salt, and pepper, and pulse a few times to finely choppumpkin seeds.
Just before serving, spoon in some pesto ( rest will keep in fridge )and stir.