Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gutsy Cooks - Spanish Lentils and Rustic herb and cheese bread

Cynthia and Sam of Edible Adventures chose the month of April's menus for the Gutsy Cook's Club and what a great start! Spanish Lentils and a Sachertorte.

My first try at lentils and I could not believe how fast this dish can get put together, cooked, and be ready to serve. I did add a twist to mine because there was a ham bone in my freezer screaming to get used. The sachertorte was passed up for this week, sorry, but a homemade blueberry crisp needed to get finished off. I also baked a rustic Cheddar and Fontina cheese and herb bread to go with the lentil soup. Dinner was spectacular!

The recipe was changed up a bit:

3 ounces slab bacon, cubed

2 medium onions, sliced

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 cup sliced celery

1 ham bone

1 16-ounce package of lentils

1/2 t. pepper

1 t. dried thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

8 cups of hot water

salt to taste

2 T. lemon juice


In a Dutch oven (pan I am addicted to for making soups) over medium-high heat, fry bacon until lightly browned, push to side of pan.

Add onions, carrots and celery and over medium heat, cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add ham bone, lentils, pepper, thyme, bay leaves, hot water and 2 teaspoons salt.

Cover; simmer over low heat 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Discard bay leaves.

Remove ham bone to cutting board and cut off any meat; cut into small pieces.

Stir in meat, lemon juice and salt to taste into soup.

The blueberry crisp is partnered with homemade vanilla bean custard, bourbon, and spiced pecan ice cream. I can see the dessert should be a post all its' own =). Looking forward to next week's menu of zucchini sticks and Hungarian goulash!

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