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Posts Tagged ‘soup’

“Mouthwatering” and “lentil” in the same soup? I wouldn’t have thought so until this week. I’ve come to realize that brown lentils taste and look a little too much like dirt to be palatable to me. Red lentils, however, are a different beast. These tiny salmon-colored disks cook down into lovely, soft golden layers of mellow goodness. The red lentil soup I made previously was delicious. But this soup – this last lentil soup was divine. And really, really filling. And would have been really frugal, if not for the rich, creamy coconut milk the recipe called for. It wasn’t too bad for me this go-around: I used up another 1/3 of a can of coconut milk I had bought in Austria for only a euro…so about 50 cents for the coconut? Not bad. However, it would be a little more decadent if the coconut had been purchased here, as the only store I know of that carries it charges about 35 kn ($7) for a can. Now I know what to stock up on when I visit Austria again! I’m also interested in trying to make coconut milk…one option I saw called for equal parts unsweetened dried coconut and boiling water, allowing them to steep for 20 minutes and then straining the pulp out.

Garam Masala Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
adapted from The Nourishing Gourmet

1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
4 cups water
1 carrot
1/2 cup coconut milk

Tadka
3 tbsp coconut oil
3/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

Saute onions and turmeric in coconut oil until soft and translucent; add the garlic and cook another minute.
Add the water, lentils and rice. Grate the carrot with a fine grater into the soup, and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, on a low simmer until the lentils and rice are soft.
Add the coconut milk and cook for a few minutes. Blend to desired consistency using an immersion blender.
In another pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat. Add the spices and stir, cooking until fragrant. Stir into the soup, and season with salt and additional pepper as desired.

Makes 3 servings. Serve with fresh naan bread for a delicious and fragrant meal!

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The last lentil soup I made tasted like….well, like lentils. Not my favorite flavor. But the lentil’s cheapness and healthiness was alluring, so I decided to give them another try. But this time, it would be the pretty little red lentils that would be utilized, and that would win me over.

This soup is delicious. I threw it together in about 10 minutes, and then let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes while I was getting ready for the day. I reheated it for lunch, and it was fabulous. Altogether, it probably cost about $1.50, and I’ll eat it again for lunches the rest of the week. I can’t wait to make it again, perhaps next time with curry instead of or in addition to the cumin.

Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from Epicurious.com

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh or canned tomato
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried red lentils
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few good sprinkles of ground cinnamon
juice of one lemon wedge

Heat oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, tomato, cumin, cayenne, and salt and sauté, stirring, 2 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and cinnamon, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
Squeeze in lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

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I was a little overly-zealous in my quest for a pumpkin, and ended up with two pumpkins to roast and make pumpkin puree out of. The two pumpkins produced about 8 cups of puree to work with, and I made a pie, two batches of pumpkin bread, and still had more puree left over. So I thought a soup would be a nice way to use up some of the pumpkin, and would be a culinary adventure for me, since I’ve neither made nor ever eaten pumpkin soup. I found this Rachael Ray recipe on the Food Network website, and made a few changes.

The original recipe called for two cans of pumpkin, but I just used two cups (about one can), based on reviews suggested by other people who had tried the soup. I also used about two and a half cups of black beans instead of just one can’s worth reduced the curry powder from 2 tbsp. and a palm full, to just one teaspoon; used half cream and half milk instead of a full cup of cream; used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth; and added the apple cider vinegar and garlic powder, which I think added a nice kick to the soup.

I ate it with the corn bread that the bakeries sell here (similar to a loaf of French bread, but more dense, with a slightly softer crust, and made with corn flour instead of wheat flour), and the combo was delightful. I think a regular cornbread (like the kind served with chili) would be great with this soup as well. The best part of the soup was how quickly it came together (or would have, if I had used canned black beans instead of having to soak and cook my own).

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
adapted from Rachael Ray, via Food Network

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 turn of the pan 1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans, drained
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion. Saute onions 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine ingredients and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt, to taste. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings and serve garnished with chopped chives.

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