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Red Lentil Soup

September 26, 2009

I have a feeling that this is going to be a great weekend. My pops is out of town, which means my little brother is spending the night at his girlfriend’s house… which means I have the whole house to myself.

I don’t know what other chicks my age do when they have the run of a house, but you will find me in the kitchen. I’m going to make a mess and not clean it up until Sunday. I am not joking about this.

First on my agenda was this lentil soup. Green lentil soups are always kind of yucky looking (they remind me of mud) and they taste soooo boring (again with the mud). But this soup uses red lentils and curry-type spices. And let me tell you, this is what lentil soup ought to be. Chock full of veggies, the lentils just round it out. Don’t skimp on any of the spices either. They’re what make this soup so special.

redlentilsoup 027

I know the ingredient list is long, but since it’s mostly vegetables it’s also quite cheap. It’s even cheaper if you go to an Indian foods store to get the lentils and spices. There’s nothing particularly difficult about this either. It’s just chopping veggies and throwing everything in a pot. That’s one reason I didn’t take many pictures (a slight kitchen disaster is the other reason). I’m guessing it stores well, so if you invest the time on a lazy Sunday you’ll have a quick dinner during the week.

Red Lentil Soup (adapted from eCurry)

Serves 5-6ish 6-8ish

Prep time: 30 minutes max Cook time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

3/4c / 150g red lentils (masoor dal)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion (I used my leftover red onion half from earlier this week and a shallot I had laying around because I am economical!)

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

salt & black pepper

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 tomato

1 big handful of green beans (the snap kind I would recommend)

1-2 green hot chilis, seeds and ribs removed (optional I suppose)

juice of 1/2 lemon

handful of parsley or cilantro (I used cilantro, seemed more authentic)

* The original recipe called for black eyed peas, but I wasn’t going to buy a big bag just to use 1/4 cup. Instead I cut up a quarter of a cauliflower because curry and cauliflower go together like Roger and Mirka.

Instructions:

1. Wash, peel, and chop up all your vegetables.

2. Heat a big pot and add olive oil. Add onions and garlic, saute until soft and transluscent, yadda yadda.

3. Throw in all the other veggies, plus the cumin, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Saute for 4-5 minutes.

4. Add 3-4 cups of water or stock (I used a can of chicken stock, shhh) and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are mushy.

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5. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro before serving.

One of the options for this recipe is to add some hot chili oil or crushed red peppers. I say go for it! Just to give it a little heat.

redlentilsoup 038

Now, let me tell you about my embarrassing little kitchen accident…

I was using this black pen to jot some notes, and then I set it down somewhere and forgot about it. I put my big soup pot on the stove, cranked the flame up pretty high, and went back to happily chopping vegetables. A few minutes later I glanced over at the stove and thought, “That flame is pretty high, I should turn it down.” So I turned it down, but the flame wasn’t getting any lower. Sure enough, I had set the pen down so part of it was next to the burner, and it had caught fire! I started panicking, thinking I’ve just been left home alone and I’ve caused a fire and it won’t go out and we don’t have a fire extinguisher and so it’ll get bigger and I’ll have to call 911 and my dad will be maaaaad. I decided to just turn off the stove and try blowing out the flame.

Well, it worked. But I had a gooey, melty, inky mess to deal with. Can I just say, thank God for Dawn dish detergent! And hopefully nobody but us will ever know about my little kitchen mishap. 😉

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Maz permalink*
    September 26, 2009 15:11

    Your photos are so good! So full of light and colour! Is my kitchen that dingy? 😛 Must be the British weather 😉 This dish looks amazing and so healthy.

    You are seriously rivalling my mother in the legumes department 😀

    And I have this stupid tendency to put metal in the microwave so I know how you’re feeling! At least you came through it unscathed! I need my blogging partner, remember! 😀

    • Kristen permalink*
      September 26, 2009 15:23

      Definitely NOT the weather as it’s been dreary & rainy this whole week! And notice how close I zoom in so you can’t see my gross, cramped kitchen 🙂 I try to use as much natural light as possible, but the window is right over the sink, so I have to put a board down over the sink sometimes! And I just futz around with my camera’s settings and take a ton of pics… like for this I took 45 pics and these were really the only 3 good ones!

      As for being healthy… when one eats half a box of shortbreads in a sitting, one must make it up somehow!!!! 😉

  2. Momma permalink
    September 26, 2009 17:03

    Momma knows 🙂

  3. September 29, 2009 15:24

    Yeah…I’m gonna go ahead and bookmark this one. It’s starting to get chilly here in SF. This will work out nicely.

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