Mexican Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic

Hart and Hind Fitness Ranch was a wellness facility in the Texas Hill Country, sadly now closed.  Fortunately, the healthy recipes created by its cowgirl chef, Paula Disbrowe, live on, including this favorite Mexican Lentil Soup.  We make this several times each winter season — it tastes just as wonderful the next day.

Mexican Lentil Soup with Roasted Garlic
Hart and Hind Fitness Ranch in Texas is now, sadly, closed, but at the ranch, this was served al fresco, with goat pasture in view and Italian music piped out onto the patio.
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Recipes: Soups
Serves: 6
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 2 cups black beluga lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups water or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh epazote, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from chipotle chiles, or hot sauce to taste
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Hold the garlic by its stem end and trim off the top fourth off the opposite end. Place the garlic, cut side up, on a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the garlic with the teaspoon of olive oil and loosely wrap in foil. Place the foil packet on a cookies sheet and roast for one hour.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a enamel-coated cast iron soup pot. Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the bay leaves, lentils, chicken stock and epazote and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, remove the roasted garlic flesh from the paper skin. To do this, grip the stem end of the garlic and squeeze the flesh out through the cut end. Set aside.
  6. Remove the bay leaves from soup. Transfer two cups of the soup to a blender, along with the roasted garlic flesh, cumin, coriander, and adobo sauce or hot sauce. Puree the mixture until silky smooth and return to the pot. Stir well to incorporate and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Taste again for seasonings and hot sauce, and serve.
Black beluga lentils are small domestic lentils that resemble beluga caviar. They create a richer stock than green or brown lentils. This soup improves after a day of sitting, and lasts up to a week in the refrigerator. If you need to perk up the flavor, add a teaspoon or two of red wine or sherry wine vinegar.

February 7, 2011 |

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