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Monday, August 1, 2011

Smokey Lentil Soup with Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

This is a recipe that I found from a William Sonoma recipe section of their most recent catalog. They suggest that you make this in one of those classic William-Sonoma-One-Purpose-Gadgets where its a pot/blender/soup bowl/waste of money all in one... Yeaaa, I just did it the old fashioned way with separate appliances. Worked juuuuust fine. Both the soup AND grilled-cheese were great and I would serve each together or separately again!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, 1/4 inch dice
1 celery stalk, 1/4 inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3/4 cup split red lentils, rinsed
1/3 cup diced canned tomatoes, drained
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon white vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream
3 strips bacon, crumbled (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables, tomato paste and paprika. Cook covered, stirring every few minutes, until vegetables have softened- about 25 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Cover and cook on medium-low for about 35-40 minutes, until lentils are softened. Pour into a blender and blend briefly. Pour back into pot and reheat until ready to serve. Add the vinegar and taste for salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with sour cream and crumbled bacon on top. Serves 4.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 yellow onion, sliced
8 slices sourdough bread (for 4 sandwiches)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dijon mustard, stirred into butter
8 ounces gruyere, sliced thin
3/4 cup arugula

Heat the olive oil in a large grill-pan and caramelize the onions (will take about 30 minutes). Remove from heat and wipe the pan with a paper towel. Brush the outside pieces of each sandwich bread with olive oil. Brush the insides with the butter/dijon mixture. Layer gruyere on the inside of the sandwich, followed by caramelized onion, and then more gruyere. Put the other piece of bread on top and place in heated grill pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and open sandwich, quickly placing arugula inside. Place bread back on top and cut sandwiches in half. Serve with soup.

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