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Lentil Bisque

2 tb Canola oil
10 Cloves garlic; crushed and peeled
1 lg Onion; chopped
1 tb Tomato paste
2/3 c Dry white wine
1 c Lentils; rinsed
5 c Light chicken stock; or water
1/2 c Heavy cream
Salt and pepper; to taste
Chopped tomatoes and Italian parsley; optional garnish


Blackened garlic, lentils, and pasta was one of Bob Calderone's favorite combinations when he was a boy. Calderone, chef-owner of Anago in the Lenox Hotel, now turns the combination into a bisque. Here is an adaptation of his recipe.


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, turning often, until charred, about 5 minutes. Put in the onion and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the tomatoe paste and wine, and cook while stirring until the tomato paste dissolves and the wine bubbles. Add the lentils and chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add more stock or water to keep the lentils covered. Remove from the heat and, when cool enough to handle, puree in batches in a processor. Refrigerate overnight.


The next day, bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Stir in the cream and more stock or water if it is too thick and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with chopped tomatoes and Italian parsley, if desired.


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