• Canvas Ranch Lentil and Farro Soup

    4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed* and diced small
    4 celery stalks, washed, trimmed and diced small
    3 carrots, peeled and diced small
    1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped finely
    1 tablespoon fennel seed
    1 cup dry white wine
    1 pound dry lentils, rinsed and drained
    1/2 cup farro, rinsed and drained
    3 quarts vegetable stock, preferably homemade*
    Kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper

    Heat a large soup pot on the stove on medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until it starts to shimmer. Add leeks, celery, carrots, thyme and fennel seeds and sauté, while stirring, until they are tender.

    Add the white wine and stir together. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the lentils and farro. Stir until well incorporated. Add the vegetable stock. Raise the heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Drop heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until lentils and farro are tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Adjust seasoning with kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. Use a strainer to remove half of the solids in the soup and hold in a separate container. Use a hand-held blender or a standing blender to purée the rest of the contents to a smooth consistency. Add retained lentil, farro and vegetable solids to soup. Keep warm until ready to serve.

    To serve:
    Ladle soup into 8 bowls. Serve immediately.

    • *Epicurean Tip
      A Hot (Vegetable) Stock Tip!

      Nothing beats flavorful, homemade stock. It’s easy to make your own and, if you do, all your recipes will be vastly improved. Here is my own recipe for a savory vegetable stock.

      Vegetable Stock
      4 large yellow onions, peeled and quartered
      6 stalks celery, diced large
      1 celery root, peeled and diced large
      2 carrots, peeled and pencil cut
      2 red bell peppers, stem removed, seeded, membrane removed, diced large
      1 rutabaga, peeled and diced large
      2 parsnips, peeled and pencil cut
      2 bulbs fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
      1 tablespoon black peppercorns
      2 bay leaves
      4 sprigs of thyme, left whole

    • *Epicurean Tip
      Leeks, Sans Sand

      Leeks are notoriously sandy! Here’s how to thoroughly clean them:
      Cut off the green leaves of the leek where they start to ‘Y’ just on top of the white portion and save the green leaves for all stocks. Do not remove the root end. Split the leek in half, lengthwise. Hold under cool running water while using your fingers to separate the layers. Rinse until all sediment is removed. Let drain, slice off the root ends and cut as your recipe requires.