Lentil Orzo Soup

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. 

 Ingredients

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

Pesto

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.

For pesto:

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. 

 

Serves 6

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