Lentil and Escarole Soup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup green lentils
1 bay leaf
2 whole canned tomatoes, drained, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 slices Italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 head escarole, cut crosswise into 1-inch strips
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and carrot, and sautÃ© until tender, about 5 minutes. Add lentils, bay leaf, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and 5 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oven to 425°. Toast bread cubes on a baking sheet, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Add escarole to soup, and cook for 5 minutes more. Adjust seasonings, and serve in four bowls topped with croutons and olive oil.
Pairs Well With