These brothy beans are inspired by a recipe that Food52 cofounder Merrill Stubbs makes—they’re a stripped-down, vegetarian take on hers.
Holy moly do I love ramen. And, by the way, I’m not talking about the “Peel off the lid. Pour boiling water into the cup. Let sit for three minutes. Stir well and serve” variety. I’m talking about huge bowls of chewy, luxurious noodles swimming in a flavorful, savory broth with an assortment of proteins, loads of garnishes, and a soft- boiled egg floating on top. Comfort food of the highest order.
This is one of Faith’s favorite go-to soup-as-a-meal recipes. She prefers red lentils, simply because she finds them beautiful, but you could use brown lentils if that’s what you have or what you like. As a last step, she uses an immersion blender to thicken the soup, but you don’t have to if you like the texture of the plump cooked lentils as they are.
Aside from its comfort and restorative potential, it’s also just plain ol’ delicious.
The same way I save the chicken carcass after a chicken dinner to make stock, I save lobster shells all summer long and turn them into broth. You can do this with shrimp shells, too. What do the shells add to the broth? A beautiful brininess. It’s the essence of the sea.