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Mexican Lentil Soup with Skillet Cornbread CLINTON KELLY

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A #PickMyPantry dish that is super to be a winner!

ingredients
MEXICAN LENTIL SOUP:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion (peeled, small dice)
2 carrots (peeled, small dice)
1 red bell pepper (seeded, small dice)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (15-ounce) can mild salsa
1 and 1/2 cups dried green lentils (picked over, rinsed, drained)
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (diced)
6 cups organic chicken stock
1/4 cup cilantro (roughly chopped, to garnish) (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
SKILLET CORNBREAD:
1 1/4 cup coarse ground cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted, divided)
1 cup frozen kernels (thawed)

directions
For the Mexican Lentil Soup: In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper, and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the salsa and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid and simmer until lentils are tender about 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For the Cornbread: Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven until very hot.
In a medium bowl, add cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside.
In another medium bowl, add buttermilk, eggs, and 6 tablespoons of butter and whisk to combine.
Whisk the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Add corn and stir to combine.
Carefully remove the cast-iron skillet from the oven and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and spread to evenly coat the bottom and the sides of the pan. Pour the batter into the skillet and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and slice.
To serve: Place a slice of cornbread in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle the soup on top of the cornbread and top with cilantro and sour cream.
Tip: Make the soup ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month!

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