Today is the day before Fat Tuesday and that means I’m thinking of paczki. If this is new to you, paczki are Polish doughnuts that were traditionally made to use up any lard, sugar, eggs and fruit before Lent. You don’t have to be Polish or religious to take part in the paczki tradition, though. Marc has the day off today for President’s Day and he is going to the American Polish Cultural Center to pick up some fresh paczki for us!
Life is about balance and in preparation, this vegetarian soup is a perfect pre-Fat Tuesday meal. This bowl of health is tasty, too. The lentils and potatoes combine to form a thick and satisfying base accented with the bright flavor of dill and lemon. I love the salty zing from the feta, but remove it and you have a vegan feast.
Recipe: Vegetarian Potato Dill Lentil Soup
Adapted from Take a Megabite
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
4-5 medium carrots, diced
2 medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 C. dry red lentils
6 C. water
1 t. cumin
sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1/2 C. fresh dill, chopped
1 bunch kale, rib removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
feta for garnish (optional)
1. In a large stock pot, saute onions, carrots, potato, garlic and bay leaves in oil over medium heat until potato begins to soften, about 15 minutes.
2. Rinse lentils several times until the water used is no longer cloudy. Add to the soup pot along with the water, cumin and a few pinches of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper. Simmer until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes.
3. When you are ready to serve, turn off the heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, dill and kale. Stir until kale has softened and wilted a bit. Serve immediately with crumbled feta, if you like!