RECIPE: Michael Smith's Braised Beef & Lentil Soup

James Beard Award-Winner, Chef Michael Smith whips up his signature braised beef and lentil soup. 

See more at michaelsmithkc.com.

Michael Smith’s Braised Beef & Lentil Soup

Ingredients:
2 cups brown or green lentils – rinsed
8 oz beef chuck – small diced ¼ inch cubes (substitute any leftover steak or beef)
1 yellow onion – peeled and diced in ¼ inch cubes
1 clove garlic – minced
1 medium carrot – peeled and diced in ¼ inch cubes
1 parsnip – peeled and diced in ¼ inch cubes
3 quarts parmesan cheese broth (made from the rind)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil

Method:
Parmesan Broth:
Combine 12 ounces of parmesan cheese rind in water or chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for thirty-five minutes. Strain and reserve broth. Discard the parmesan cheese rinds.  If no rinds are available then substitute 4 ounces parmesan cheese.

Lentil Soup:
Add olive oil to a large soup pot and heat over high flame until the oil starts to smoke. Add beef, onions, carrots and parsnip and cook until the vegetables start to soften and caramelize; about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add herbs and tomato paste and stir for one minute. Add broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer slowly for thirty minutes. Add lentils and continue to simmer slowly until beef is tender and lentils are cooked through. Add water as necessary to keep a soup consistency. The lentils will absorb much of the water as they soften.

Serve soup piping hot with a sprinkling of parmesan over the top and a drizzle of quality olive oil. Soak up this delicious winter soup with garlic-parmesan crostinis.

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