Last weekend was our annual pilgrimage north for our girls’ shopping and spa weekend in Frankenmuth, Michigan, Frankenmuth is a quaint little town in mid-Michigan also known as Little Bavaria but more importantly known for their world-famous chicken dinners. We kicked off this annual trek with lunch and a cocktail followed by power shopping at the outlet mall in nearby Birch Run. If you’re thinking this activity can’t be topped, the next afternoon was spent at Serendipity Day Spas where we left feeling renewed and absolutely amazing! Sandwiched in between we drank wine and dined on some really great “girl food” ~ charcuterie boards and Lobster Bisque at Prost. It’s a really fun weekend we all look forward to, but I digress. The point of this story ~ yes, it really does have one ~ is that for the last I don’t know how many years, I’ve been wanting to take the plunge into the world of Le Creuset. It’s probably hard to imagine a food blogger, who cooks literally every day of her life doesn’t own a little piece of the Queen of Cookware. This weekend I finally uncurled my fingers from my wallet (because no one would ever confuse the Queen with being a cheap date) and bought this beauty:
Naturally, her maiden voyage had to be something really special and this Beef Mushroom Lentil Soup fits like Cinderella’s slipper. The combination of lentils and Certified Angus Beef means this soup packs a protein punch. If Mohammad Ali was a soup. . .
. . .and lentils have less than half the calories of barley and 1/3 of its carbs. Combined with all the protein in the Certified Angus Beef this soup packs a protein punch. If Muhammad Ali was a soup. . .
Good meals start with good products. . .
A little drizzle of olive oil and a pat of real butter get this soup going. Add the Certified Angus Beef and sear getting all that yummy brown color on the meat and on the bottom of the pan (which will be scraped up later).
Add the chopped carrots and onions.
Then the mushrooms. . .and a bit of salt and pepper.
Some tomato paste and about half a cup of red wine. . .
. . .the diced tomatoes and beef stock and I just love this McCormick Au Jus ~ just one tablespoon adds such richness. Pour in the lentils, thyme and a bay leaf and let it simmer.
Add the fresh parsley last and this is what you’ll end up with. . .
- Olive Oil (drizzle)
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef Top Round, cut in 1" cubes
- 3-4 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 8 ounces of baby bella mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of red wine
- 1 cup of lentils
- 32 ounces of beef stock
- 2 tablespoons of McCormick Au Jus
- 1 - 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- In a large soup pot or Dutch Oven, drizzle olive oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- Add beef to the pot and sear.
- Lower heat to medium and drop in the carrots, celery and onion.
- Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, stirring brown bits from the bottom of the pot and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Blend the tomato paste into the mixture and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the wine and simmer 3-4 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes, beef stock and McCormick Au Jus and blend well.
- Cover and simmer 20 minutes over low heat.
- Add the lentils and combine.
- Submerge the bay leaf in the pot and lay the thyme sprigs on the top.
- Simmer 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
- When the soup is finished, blend in the fresh parsley and adjust salt and pepper to taste.