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Ground Beef and Lentil Soup with Rice

November 26, 2013

lentil ground beef soup

Finally, finally, it’s cold enough in San Antonio for soup. (Not that being cold is a requirement in our house for soup, we eat soup in the summer, too, because we love soup.) Still, there’s nothing better than cozying up to a nice steamy bowl of soup on a cool day, and this soup is perfect snuggle up comfort food. I’m in the mood for a top five list, so here we go. Top five reasons to love this soup:

1. Comforting, filling and cheap! (three reasons in one)

2. The balsamic vinegar at the end gives it a little bit of a “hmm… yum… what’s in this soup?!” quality.

3. Super easy and quick to make

4. If you use extra lean ground beef, it’s pretty good for you.

5. (Should be #1) It’s lick-the-bowl delicious.

I adapted this soup to make it a few less steps than the original recipe calls for.

Ground Beef and Lentil Soup with Rice

Ingredients: 

1 lb.  ground beef

2 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 T minced garlic

1 T dried parsley

1 tsp. dried thyme or 3 fresh sprigs of fresh time

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

4 c. low sodium beef stock

2 c. low sodium chicken stock

2 cups water

plus more as needed

2/3 cup brown lentils

1/2 cup rice

salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 T balsamic vinegar

Procedure

1. Heat 2tsp. olive oil in a frying pan and cook the ground beef until it’s well browned. Break up into small pieces and transfer to a large pot.

2.  Add another tsp. of olive oil to the pan and add carrots, onions and celery. Saute until the veggies are starting to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, thyme, cumin, and parsley and saute for another 2 minutes.

3. Transfer the veggies to the pot. Add the 2 cups of water to the frying pan to swish out the bits of veggies and garlic stuck to the pan and add that water to the soup pot as well.

4. Add beef broth, chicken broth and lentils and rice to the soup pot and simmer on low for about an hour.

5. Taste the soup, if the flavor seems too salty or concentrated, add a bit of water, if it seems underseasoned, add salt.

6. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes and taste again, correcting seasonings if needed. Add balsamic vinegar to finish and enjoy!
PS – The second time I made this I added about 1/2 cup more water and a potato diced small, and it was great that way as well!
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