It’s 4 days before Christmas and I am giving you a recipe for lentil soup. I’ve been back and forth about it all day. I wanted to post about caramels. Caramels! Those sweet tiny squares that gleefully exchange hands this time of year! Caramels with bourbon and fleur de sel and vanilla beans! But there is one batch in the trash another about to go in; too sweet and wow, too much bourbon. And I’ve found myself constantly craving lentils lately, my husband slightly horrified as I’ve been smashing them onto toast with red cabbage and sprouts, eating them for breakfast and lunch again and again. I’ve been eating them like this, sweet and so good, and I decided to try and turn this beloved recipe into a fabulous soup.
Of course, you noticed the word try right away. It’s one of those soups. I really like it, but will anyone else? And gosh darn, murky soup isn’t pretty. And well, pureed lentils? Just okay. But, pureed lentils with honey crème fraîche? Oh, so.good. It might be that I am just in love with the crème fraîche, but swirling it into steaming hot lentils and caramelized leeks is a mighty tasty lunch.
{Also, this very handsome Batman who insisted on dancing with me the entire time I was cooking, agrees that the honey ice cream, as he calls it, is perfect. He refused to try the lentils, of course. And would I please put his picture on my blog?}
But, in the end, I just decided to go for it, post it up. So put down those cookies and stop perfecting that candy, here’s something else for you; soup: sweet, yet not too sweet, warm and comforting and wholesome.

lentils + caramelized leek soup with honey crème fraîche
inspired by the sprouted kitchen

As I stated previous, the soup without the honey crème fraîche is fine, but I would highly recommend serving it with the creme fraiche. It makes it sweet, but so tasty. You could also skip pureeing the soup, but then you will have large pieces of leeks throughout, so it’s up to you what texture you would prefer.

1 1/2 cups lentils
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large leeks, dark green parts removed, cut lengthwise and then cut across into small crescent pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
a pinch or two of cayenne
2 tablespoons musovado or light brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar 

honey crème fraîche
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2-3 tablespoons honey, to taste

Rinse the lentils well, and put them in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Cover with the stock and water, add 1 teaspoon salt, and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and let the lentils simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and oil over medium high heat in a saute pan. Add the leeks, salt, pepper, cayenne, and musovado sugar. Saute leeks until they have released most their liquid and are starting to brown slightly [about 8 minutes], and then reduce heat to medium low. Cook until very soft and sweet, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the leeks to the lentils after their 30 minute simmer. Continue simmering everything for another 30 minutes, or until lentils are soft. When the lentils are finished cooking, puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or with an immersion blender until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in the rice vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop [or two] of honey crème fraîche.
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16 Responses to lentils + caramelized leek soup with honey crème fraîche

  1. Christina says:

    I’m so ready for some wholesome food! I’m on the verge of sugar overload…bring on the lentils. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Kathryne says:

    I sure do love lentils and your photos make this soup look quite enticing, Sarah. Honey crème fraiche is a genius addition. (P.s. Merry Christmas! And your batman is handsome indeed.)

  3. Laura (lap) says:

    I will undoubtedly leave this lumpy, but I can never get enough lentils…mmmm

  4. I’ll try it, I’ll try it!!

  5. I absolutely love Sara’s lentil and leek recipe, so good, so can imagine the flavours transformed into soup would really work. I’m eating really healthily this weekend before the Christmas onslaught begins – sometimes dark, earthy, vegetable laden food is exactly the antidote we need at this time of year.

  6. Oh my God, I am soooo over cookies right now. I am so happy to hear somebody else is going through a lentil obsession right now. For me it is these red split lentils I found that are great on or in anything. My husband won’t touch them so I am a lone lentil lover in my house. This soup doesn’t look murky at all! It looks absolutely divine!

  7. Laura says:

    I’ve been craving legumes and pulses like crazy too. I made some dal yesterday because whoa, all that sugar is taking a toll. Seriously. It was time for some of those earthy little swollen bellies of goodness to bubble up in a pot. This soup sounds SO great, especially with your inspired touch of honeyed (!!!!) creme fraiche. Happy holiday to you and your sweet family, my friend :) xo

  8. Sacha says:

    I love lentils, even when dark, pureed, and murky. The sweetness is very intriguing!

  9. kale says:

    it might not be what you intended, but i think it’s a great post. the honey crème fraîche looks so pretty swirled into the soup like that. :)

  10. Courtney says:

    lovely! just the thing to bring me out of my sugar coma :)

  11. london bakes says:

    I definitely need something non-sugar related at the moment; this soup sounds so earthy and wonderful.

  12. I love lentils, and I love leeks, and I love this soup, even though I’m a bit behind on my post reads… 4 days after Christmas, well this sounds just perfect. I love that photo of the bowl on the white cloth, so simply beautiful.

  13. Louise says:

    This was a complete winner with the fam. I can’t believe how much flavour you can get out of such simple ingredients. I’m looking firward to trying more of your recipes, especially if this one was a “plan B”!

  14. [...] hvor skallet er fjernet, og de trenger bare å kokes i 20-30 minutter. I den opprinnelige oppskriften står det bare “linser”, så det passer sikkert både med brune, grønne eller røde [...]

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