|Yes, this is what my work lunch looks like.|
However! One thing I do a lot of when it's cold and miserable outside is cook. And last weekend was no different. I threw together a hearty and delicious red lentil and carrot soup.
You will need:
1 cup red lentils
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, chopped (or about 1/2 cup chopped frozen onion)
4 cups of stock (chicken, turkey, or vegetable)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oil in a stockpot. Add the garlic and onion, cook over medium heat until translucent. Turn heat down to medium low, add the carrots and cover, allowing to cook for about 10 minutes (stirring occasionally. Add the lentils and coat with the oil. Add the stock, spices, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil for about five minutes. Turn heat down and allow to simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes or until the lentils and carrots are soft. Transfer soup to a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree.
That's pretty much it. It's a nice accompaniment to a crisp, green salad and/or some crusty bread. It's a very thick, stick to your ribs soup that is filling and nutritious. It's something I looked forward to eating once I was done shoveling out my driveway. It also keeps well and makes for a filling lunch at work.
I tried this during the blizzard a couple of weeks ago with split pigeon peas. It had a very smoky flavor that seemed to come from the peas. I don't really go for smoky flavors in my soup, so I wasn't jazzed about the pigeon peas, but if you like that give them a whirl. Pretty much any lentil (especially a split and skinned one) will work well.
The other thing I like about this is that it's inexpensive to make. And relatively quick--you don't have to let this simmer for hours, and the leftovers taste wonderful as the spices meld a little more overnight.