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Wednesday: Apple Grilled Cheese and Lentil Soup

Serves: 4     Prep: 20     Cooking: 45 (mostly inactive)


For Lentil Soup
2 cups French green lentils
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh arugula or spinach, stemmed and torn 
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 juicy lemon, zested and juiced
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon cracked red pepper flakes3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped 
For Apple Grilled Cheese
1 onion, thinly sliced
8 slices good sourdough bread
4 tablespoons butter butter
Mustard – Dijon, whole grain, or honey mustard 
½ pound sliced Gruyére cheese
½ pound Brie, chilled and sliced
2 apples, cored and hinlysliced


Prep Opportunity
The onions and lentils can be made earlier in the day.
In a large pot, over medium-high heat, combine lentils with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
While the lentils are cooking, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Start the grilled cheese. Butter the bread slices on one side. On the unbuttered side of four slices, assemble ingredients in the following order:  mustard, a layer of both cheeses, apple slices, onions. Add another layer of mustard to the remaining four unbuttered sides.
Once lentils are ready, drain, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pot over medium heat, warm the oil, add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until golden, about 6 - 8 minutes.
Add arugula or spinach and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
Add the lentils, cumin, lemon zest, broth, and 2 cups water to the onion, garlic, and arugula. Let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place sandwiches in the skillet, over medium heat, with a brick or in a panini press and cook until golden brown on both sides.
Stir cilantro into the soup and taste for salt.
Serve soup immediately with the grilled cheese sandwiches.