Soaking the lentils in hot water helps them cook a bit more quickly when they're added to the soup. Because of rhubarb's likeness to the tangy herb sorrel, this dish plays off classic lentil-sorrel soup.
1 1/2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup dried petite green lentils
2 cups finely chopped carrot
1 3/4 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chopped rhubarb (about 12 ounces)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
6 tablespoons crème fraîche
Dill sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over lentils in a small bowl; let stand 10 minutes.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrot, celery, onion, and parsley to pan; sauté for 4 minutes. Add rhubarb, and sauté for 3 minutes. Drain lentils, and add lentils to pan. Stir in chicken broth and salt; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Remove from heat; let cool 5 minutes. Place 3 cups lentil mixture in a blender or food processor. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in pepper.
Combine chopped dill and crème fraîche in a small bowl. Serve crème fraîche mixture on top of soup; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.