Red Lentil Soup

Jonathan Margolin, Toque & Scalpel
1 lb red lentils, rinsed & cleaned
6 cups water
4 cups beef stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock
28 oz can of peeled roma tomatoes, medium dice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp dry oregano
1 lb beef chuck cut into 2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 5 to 6 quart pot over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Cook onions for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent. Then add the beef cubes and brown both sides.
Add garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, stirring for a minute more.
Stir in broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer covered. Cook the meat for another 20 – 25 minute until soft.
Uncover the pot and stir in the lentils. Cook the lentils until they are very soft and falling apart.
Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprig. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can leave the soup with the tomatoes and lentils whole, but it can be pureed if you remove the beef.

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