Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Red Lentil Soup

If you Google "I hate Delta Airlines" or "Delta sucks" you'll find quite a lengthy list of web pages written by persons like myself who, after having had a dreadful Delta experience, decided to vent openly on the internet. I know this because I spent this morning doing just that, and oddly enough, just by knowing that I'm not alone in my frustration, I'm able to let my anger go and move on. However, I've been left feeling even more cynical and untrusting than before this past weekend's travels. And yes, DELTA SUCKS.

"Going postal" has nothing on "Going airport." If only we could get our weapons inside.

What does this have to do with today's recipe? Well.... since I spent a week in Atlanta airport yesterday, I arrived home much too late last night to do any grocery shopping. Therefore, today's lunch was a throw-together of what little I had left in the fridge and pantry. I had some onions in the fridge. I had some red lentils in the pantry. And I had some turkey broth in the freezer. Once Google cooled its jets from the "I hate Delta Airlines" search, I begged it once again to come to my rescue. It did not disappoint me (DID YA HEAR THAT DELTA??) Without a second's delay, Google took me right to my destination, sanity in check. I found this delightful recipe from Michelle at Je Mange la Ville, and it was exactly what I was looking for. It was unique (to me) in that I'd never used this combination of spices before, but the end result was a spice-filled soup that didn't scream "hot," just "flavorful."

Red Lentil Soup

2-1/2 cups dried red lentils (about one pound)
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin seed, ground
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne chile pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
6 cups lamb or chicken stock (or vegetable broth would work too)(I used all turkey stock and skipped the two cups of water listed next)
2 cups water

Rinse and drain lentils. In soup pot, heat oil and saute onions and garlic until softened. Add in spices and saute another 3-5 minutes. Add stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer until lentils break down, approximately 30-40 minutes. Garnish with yogurt or sour cream and cilantro, parsley, or green onions if desired.

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