Have you ever tried French Blue Lentils?  I saw them at the local Health Food Store the other day, and thought I would give them a try.  I love them!  They are perfect in soups and stews - they are small, but the best thing is once they are cooked they retain their shape.  Can't wait to try them in a stew.
This soup was really tasty.  There is nothing better on a cold rainy day than soup. Actually, I love soup just about any time.  I had not had red cabbage in a soup before - we still have tons from the garden, so I decided to make a hearty vegetable soup with red cabbage.  I was happily surprised.  The red cabbage lends a soft sweetness to the soup as well as adding great flavor.  And healthy too!

Olive oil
1 large roughly chopped onion
3 large minced garlic cloves
3 carrots chopped
2 1/2 cups shredded/chopped red cabbage
1 chopped parsnip
1 diced green pepper
a handful of chopped green beans
2 diced celery stalks with leaves
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes - chopped
1/2 cup Organic French Blue Lentils
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I had both, so used half of each)
2 Bayleaves
2 tsp. ground Sage
1 rounded tsp. dried Thyme
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy dutch oven, heat up a good drizzle of olive oil on medium heat.  Add in the onion, garlic, green pepper, celery and carrots.  Saute about 7-8 minutes.  Then add in the parsnips, and red cabbage.  Continue to saute, stirring occasionally for another 7-8 minutes.  Add in the seasonings, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, and the French Blue Lentils.  Stir to combine, cover with a lid, and keep on a low simmer.  I simmered mine for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours, then 10 minutes before it was ready, I added in the green beans, and adjusted the seasonings.  Once the beans are cooked - soup is ready!  Served with Gluten Free bread, grilled cheese sandwiches - a hearty, warming meal.

Ina Gawne
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September 20, 2010