The spinach keeps rolling in from my garden - it's been fun to keep up with it. This is a simple soup, easy to prepare and benefiting from some pretty basic seasoning. This is also the second recipe in a row that reminds me of The Simpsons. The newly vegetarian Lisa brings a bowl of gazpacho to a barbecue in an episode from way back, and in the Paul McCartney episode he states that "Maybe I'm Amazed," when played backwards, includes "a recipe for a really ripping lentil soup." I think this is a fairly ripping lentil soup myself.
Lentil and Spinach Soup
1 tbsp. canola oil or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 large carrot, diced
1 1/2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed
5 cups water
4 cups fresh spinach
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 heaping tbsp. shiro miso
ground black pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot, and add onions, garlic, carrots, and thyme. Saute until the veggies just begin to soften and brown, about five minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning the garlic.
2. Add the lentils and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low - just so the soup continues to simmer - and cover for about 20 minutes.
3. After 20 minutes or so, the lentils should be nice and soft. Remove from heat, and immediately add the spinach. Stir a few times, and the spinach will wilt and cook in the soup broth. Add the spoonful of miso paste, and stir until the miso dissolves completely - just a few swirls should do it. Add black pepper to taste.