This soup gets much of its savory appeal from umami-rich mushrooms and red wine. A generous amount of butter and olive oil and a nice long cooking time contribute to rounding out the broth. The end result is a rich, filling dish with a depth of flavor sometimes missing in vegetarian soups.
2 cups brown lentils
6 cups cold water
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large can plum tomatoes, drained and crushed with your hands
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill OR 1 tablespoon dried dill
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 bay leaves
1 head of Swiss chard, ridges removed and cut into ribbons
¼ cup red wine
8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
Place all of the ingredients except the Swiss chard, red wine, and mushrooms into a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, add the red wine. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for two hours.
Thirty minutes into the simmering time, add the Swiss chard and stir well to combine.
Saute the sliced mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil. After the soup has been simmering for one hour, add the sautéed mushrooms to the soup pot and stir again.
After two hours of simmering, taste the soup. If the lentils aren’t tender yet, allow the soup to simmer for another thirty minutes or until the lentils soften. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
This soup keeps in the fridge for several days and also freezes well.