You know those funny “that-would-never-happen-to-me” stories that you hear about?
Like when you run in to get coffee for three minutes and you walk out to find your car towed (and your wallet $268 lighter).
Or that time you ran the dishwasher with dish soap rather than dish detergent.
Or when you back your brand new car into a curb for the eightieth time.
Or when you want a liiiiittle bit more salt in your soup and the salt shaker decides to make the excellent decision to dump its entire contents into your precious lentil stew.
Nope, those things would never happen to me.
Except that they all did. Every last one of them.
Allow me to set the scene. The stew was nearly done. I had just added the balsamic vinegar. The apartment smelled like a cute little cottage in the winter, complete with muffins in the oven and soup simmering on the stove. It was picturesque. It was straight out of a souptastical fairy tale.
Then, when I proceeded to finish the soup with a touch more salt, the lid came off and fell into the soup along with half the salt shaker. And we’re not talking a little table salt shaker. We’re talking the big mama from Whole Foods. Like would you like some soup with your salt.
At first I just stood there, staring. I gave the salt the evil eye for a minute or so, scooped out what I could, gave it a taste, and winced.
Then I started cracking up. Because this would happen to me.
The good news is that while a cup of salt may ruin the flavor of the stew, it surely doesn’t ruin photographs.
So today (since we can’t eat with our mouths), let’s eat with our eyes. Let’s pretend we didn’t spend an hour cooking soup that is now being eaten by the sink drain. Let’s pretend that one sip wouldn’t send your blood pressure through the roof. Let’s pretend that it wouldn’t send a salt stick running for the hills.
I swear that this soup tastes amazing. Just go easy on the salt, mmk?
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small onions, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1½ tsp italian seasoning
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup trimmed and chopped green beans (I used frozen)
- 4 cups vegetable broth + 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1-15oz caned diced tomatoes (not drained)
- 1 medium potato, cubed
- 1 cup lentils
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven.
- Once oil is hot, add onions, celery, carrots, and a dash of salt. Sautee for about 7 minutes.
- Add garlic and sautee for another 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, italian seasoning, and bay leaves. Sautee for another minute. Add green beans, vegetable broth, water, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, potato, and lentils. Give it a stir, bring to a boil, then simmer (covered) on low for 35-45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
- Stir in spinach and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.