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As Rach says, "I'm so insane for this!" The soulful Spanish-style lentil soup has tons of flavor, thanks in part to the addition of piquillo peppers, sherry (or sherry vinegar) and lots of spices, including saffron and smoked paprika. The unadorned soup is delicious as is, but Rachael adds "a big finish" at the end that takes it to the next level: a gremolata of orange zest, crushed red pepper flakes and fresh parsley or parsley and cilantro. She also serves it with toasted bread rubbed with garlic and ripe tomato. We're insane for it, too! (Note that if you use vegetable broth, the soup is vegan.)
Feeling more basic? Check out this traditional lentil soup recipe from Rach.
Warm stock in medium pot with saffron and steep over low heat to bloom the threads.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat with EVOO, then add potatoes, season with salt and pepper and brown 5 minutes. Add onions and bay and soften onions 2 to 3 minutes, add garlic and spices and stir a minute, then add peppers and paste and stir a minute more. Add sherry, lentils and the saffron-infused stock, bring to boil and simmer 30 to 45 minutes to cook the lentils. Wilt in greens of choice when the lentils are cooked and add Tabasco to taste. Remove the bay leaves.
To make gremolata/to serve, combine and finely chop zest, flakes and parsley or parsley and cilantro, then add it to the soup. Char bread under broiler or on open flame of stovetop burners and rub with cut garlic. Halve tomato across the middle and rub the flesh into bread, drizzle with EVOO and season with salt. Serve with soup.