"Lentils are some of the oldest legumes eaten by man and can be found in stone-age archeological sites from 8,000 BC. They are mentioned in the book of Genesis in the story of Esau who unwittingly gave up his right to his father’s wealth, power and authority in exchange for a bowl of lentils and a loaf of bread. Lentils are a staple of many cultures around the world. Traditionally, lentils we eaten by Catholics during lent as a substitute for fish. This recipe takes some work but is well worth the effort as the depths of the flavors are world class and would impress any serious epicure."
Add diced celery, diced onion, diced carrot, crushed garlic and olive oil to soup pot and sauté until tender.
Add rosemary, bay leaf, cumin, chicken stock, chicken bouillon and black pepper to pot and bring to a slow boil.
Simmer on low heat covered for 45 minutes or until onion begins to disappear. Do not allow to over evaporate.
Pour stock (about 8 cups) through a fine sieve strainer, dispose of solids and return liquid to pot.
Add lentils and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until tender. Stir occasionally while smashing a few beans with the back of your spoon to thicken. Control liquid so that beans finish with a slightly thick consistency.
Add cream and mix well. Bring to a slow boil while stirring.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of diced scallions and a slice of toasted French bread.