Reprinted with permission from
California Kitchen: Contemporary and Traditional Jewish Cuisine
This delicious vegetarian soup can be made in a pressure cooker or regular soup pot.
Food Editor's note: This lentil soup is pareve, unlike many others which require chicken stock. But the flavor is full-bodied, due to the addition of tomatoes and other vegetables, and various herbs and spices. It is quite easy to prepare, and if you make it in a pressure cooker, as I do, it will be ready in about an hour! Chop the celery, carrots, and onion in the food processor (separately) to speed up the preparation time.
4 tablespoons oil
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1/3 cup chopped onions
2 cups lentils (thoroughly washed in a sieve under running water)
6 cups water
2 1/4 cups stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 whole cloves
1 small bay leaf
Sauté celery, onion and carrots in oil in a 6-quart pressure cooker, approximately 4 minutes. Add lentils with all the remaining ingredients. Cook at 15 pounds pressure for 40 minutes. [Food editor's note: Even though I am an experienced pressure cooker user, I did not know what this meant. I cooked the soup for 40 minutes with the regulator rocking gently.] Cool cooker quickly according to manufacturer's directions.
In a conventional soup pot, sauté the vegetables in oil until soft and translucent. Add lentils with remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for approximately 2 hours.
Variation: Add 4 sliced kosher franks or 1/2 to 1 cup sliced salami when serving as a meat dish. [Food editors note: I have not tried this.]
This recipe is reprinted with permission from California Kosher: Contemporary and Traditional Jewish Cuisine, the popular cookbook of the Women's League of Adat Ari El Synagogue in North Hollywood, California (latest edition: 1995).