Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Peppers and Pomegranate Molasses

You might be here looking for Fish Tacos or Chicken Piccata. Sorry, folks. It was just one of those weeks. I didn't get to Ellie or Barefoot this week, but I am definitely going to get to them soon. We have had three snowstorms since my husband left a little over a week ago and soup seemed a little bit more appropriate. I love fish tacos, so I am going to make them, they just aren't here today. Hear me out though, because this soup really surprised my entire family.
My kids always know that they have to eat what they are served and this soup I made mainly because I thought it sounded interesting and it used pomegranate molasses, lentils, and spinach-all favorites of mine. I was expecting some complaining, moaning, groaning and possibly having to use bribery to get my kids to eat this one. This is where the giant SURPRISE comes in. My kids all LOVED it! From the minute they sat down, they were talking about how delicious it smelled and I didn't have to force any of them to eat a single bite. They wanted to. They really, really wanted to.
And I have to admit, I agreed with them. This soup was really good. There is alot of flavor going on in it, but it is all balanced out just perfectly. You drizzle the pomegranate molasses on top and it melts into the soup. Then you top it with roasted peppers, which add another layer of contrasting flavor. Perfect for the cold, insane weather we have been having. Hopefully, spring is on its way, but if not, I will just have to make this again and again and again.

Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses from Cooking Light
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
4 cups diced Japanese eggplant (about 2) (I used a normal eggplant)
1 cup chopped onion
1 thyme sprig
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
4 cups less-sodium beef broth, divided (I used chicken stock)
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup thinly sliced bottled roasted red bell pepper

Place first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Set lentils aside.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place the eggplant, onion, and thyme in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup broth; bake 10 minutes.
Discard thyme; add eggplant mixture to lentils.

Stir in remaining 3 cups broth and parsley; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add spinach; stir gently until spinach wilts. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, and top with about 1 tablespoon roasted red bell pepper.

Coming Tomorrow- Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake


Marie said...

Delicious looking soup as always Mary Ann. I love lentils in any way shape or form.

Maria said...

I love the roasted peppers you added! We are big fans of lentil soup, I am excited for this one. And since it is still winter here this is perfect!!

Cathy said...

This looks amazing. I've been thinking about that pomegranate molasses ever since you posted it a few weeks ago, and now I have another opportunity to try it! I will give you the biggest online hug ever if my kids will eat this!

Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic. Love lentils and they are so good for you.

Anonymous said...

Yum. It looks delicious. I love lentils. And roasted red peppers always bring things up a notch.

Kerstin said...

What a unique flavor combination - sounds delicious! Pomegranate molasses sounds like something on a restaurant menu!

Not Another Omnivore said...

Ah! That looks amazing!