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Eclecticisms: Lentil Soup

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lentil Soup

The original plan last week was to make cookies, but I heard my G-ma had a bad cold so that plan quickly turned into making lentil soup. I wanted to surprise her with something that would be good for her, plus she obviously wasn't feeling up to making any meals. And really... who doesn't love homemade food brought to their door?

It took me quite awhile to find a recipe that seemed perfect for what I had imagined making. This Alton Brown recipe looked fantastic, and it really was. The Cardamom, cumin and coriander were the absolute perfect compliment to the lentil and veggie flavors. This soup is great when you're feeling sick or on a cold or rainy day. (Or make it in May when you just want to eat soup apparently, since I ate a big bowl of it as soon as it was done!) As well as it turned out,I think it's time to try out some more of Alton Brown's recipes!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt 
1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes 
2 quarts vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise (I substituted cardamom)


Wash and chop up all of your veggies. Add olive oil to a 6 qt
Dutch oven (large pot) and set over medium heat. Once warm, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt, and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the onions begin to appear translucent.



While the veggies are cooking, you can get your tomatoes ready. I'd never peeled a tomato before, so I looked up some tips online and it's surprisingly easier than I expected, though it does require boiling some water. Remove the stem and cut shallow "x" marks in the bottom of the tomato. Using a utensil (I used a fork), dunk the tomato in a small pot of boiling water for a few seconds and then run it under cold water, to stop it from cooking.



Once those steps are complete, it's REALLY easy to peel the skin away. New technique learned... yay!



Next, add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and cardamom. Stir well, and cook over high heat until it comes to a slight boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for approximately 45 minutes.


Once the soup is ready, take about 2 Cups of it and puree in a food processor to your liking. This will help the soup's consistency. The original recipe calls to use a skick blender in the pot, but I don't have one, and pureeing only some of it worked just fine.




Serve and enjoy!


Happy eating!




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