VIBES: Gary Bartz Ntu Troop “CELESTIAL BLUES”
A recipe passed on from my best friends Mom, I think of her every time I make it. The instructions were given to me as “A scoop of this, a dash of that” -the best kind of recipe. Ive been making this for years and its both comforting and forgiving, if you forget a few ingredients or swap something out, it will be fine.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 diced medium onion
- 4 cloves of garlic finely diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup lentils
- 6 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth or water also work)
- 3 oz of tomato paste (1/2 small can) *freeze the rest
- dash of balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- optional: cayenne pepper, or hot seeds
- optional add in: chopped greens, spinach or kale
Heat olive oil over medium in a large pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, cumin and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sautee until veggies onions turn slightly translucent – 5 mins.
Add water or broth, tomato paste and lentils.
Turn heat to medium high, when mixture comes to a boil turn it down to low, simmer for 1- 1 1/2 hours or until soup thickens and flavor develops. If the soup thickens too much you can add more water to continue cooking.
When the soup is almost finished add a splash of balsamic vinegar, season with more salt if needed, and cook for another few minutes.
After about an hour you can taste it if its bland keep cooking, if its good its almost there. Sometimes I leave it simmering for 2-3 hours. If it gets super thick i just add more broth or water until the flavor develops. Add the spices to taste, those are not exact amounts. You can add more garlic, or more hot pepper, less cumin etc. depending on how you like it.