By Utah National Parks Council
Oct 10, 2013

Family Dinner: French Lentil Soup with Cremini Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes and Thyme

I love making soup in the winter time. Is it winter in Utah or is there still a chance of a fall day? Making your own soup is less expensive, more tasty, has less sodium and is a healthful family meal.

Dr. Andrew Weil shares this great soup recipe and learn the difference between sweet potatoes and yams:

2 cups coarsely chopped onion1 tbsp coarsely chopped garlic2 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms

8 cups water or vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups French lentils, (Hint: You can find these at Winco in the bulk section)

rinsed 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes

1 cup coarsely chopped celery

2 tbsp minced fresh rosemary

2 tsp minced fresh thyme

3 bay leaves

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp pepper

2 cups fresh tomatoes, cubed

1/4 cup red wine (Red wine is popular in cooking recipes. If the recipe is beef, use undiluted  beef broth, red grape juice, or cranberry juice instead of red wine. If the  recipe is poultry, try undiluted chicken or vegetable broth. For  fish recipes add  clam juice, cranberry juice or vegetable broth. In all cases, use the same  amount of the substitute as red wine. See EHow for more wine substitutes.

  1. In a large soup pot, dry sauté (no oil) the onion and garlic on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Don’t worry about the browning that starts on the bottom of the pan; this will enhance the rich flavor of the soup.
  3. Add the water or stock, lentils, sweet potatoes, celery and remaining herbs and spices. Bring to a gentle boil, and cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh tomatoes and red wine and simmer for another couple minutes before serving.

Cook’s Tip: Other than our confusion, sweet potatoes and yams have no relation whatsoever. Varieties of sweet potato range from the pale, light-fleshed dry tuber to the much-loved sweet, orange moist one. On the other hand, almost all of the world’s yams are cultivated in West Africa and can grow up to 150 pounds each. You’d be hard pressed to find one at your corner market.

– Moreka Jolar

See Dr. Weil, “French Lentil Soup with Cremini Mushrooms and Thyme.”

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