Monday, February 8, 2010

Spicy Lentil Soup

With the tinola gone and Snowpocalypse 2: Electric Boogalo imminent, my thoughts turned once again to soup. This is a hopped-up version of a Bittman recipe, with more than double the amount of ginger and garlic. It's also, thus far, a flavorful soup - earthy from the lentils and cumin, sharp from the ginger and cilantro, a bit hot from the cayenne - and, above all, comforting on this cold evenkng. When I started chopping the cilantro, the grassy tang that filled my nostrils was a welcome moment of spring in the winter evening.
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (didn't have this, so skipped it this time)
  • 6 cups broth or water
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
  • 1-2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato (I used canned and added the juices to the lentil cooking liquid)
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
Put lentils, carrots and celery (if you have it) in a pot with the liquid. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer till the lentils are soft (about 30-40 minutes).

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low (or medium if you have my cantankerous stovetop) heat. Add the onion and ginger and saute till the onion's soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook till that softens too, about 2-3 minutes more.

Add the cilantro, tomatoes, cayenne pepper and cumin. Stir, then keep on low heat. When lentils are ready, add the tomato mixture to the lentils.

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