Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red lentil and carrot soup

Yes, this is what my work lunch looks like.
I have not been around for a while--mainly because I've been in a snit over the weather (which has  not helped me in my quest to find a new home to buy).  This past weekend we had another snowstorm--and we may have yet another this weekend.  That will be three in a row if you include the blizzard we had two weeks ago.  This is getting very, very old.   I'm not above self-pity and sulking, folks. I was grumbling about how I NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS SNOW CRAP IN JAPAN and AT LEAST IT DIDN'T NORMALLY GET BELOW FREEZING WHERE I LIVED and I had to remind myself that I also had to deal with roaches so large that you could throw a leash on them and take them for a walk (living in a mega city plus generally warm weather equals lots of uninvited housemates).  Er, maybe I'll just deal with the winter.

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
Bay leaf

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.

1 comment:

  1. The soup looks terrific! And with all this wintry-ness in your part of the world, just imagine how much you'll appreciate spring. It's not far off. The first hint of it and you'll shake off your winter gloom, I'm sure.