one man's ceiling
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
  lentil (s)oops!

yeah, this was brilliant. it's late afternoon, time to start thinking about timing dinner. i pull out the book to see how long this lebanese-indian lentil soup is going to take--
"...allow soup to set for 4 to 6 hours, preferably overnight..."

one of the joys of lentils is that they are quick-cooking! 15 minutes tops! what's this mess about setting overnight so it properly thickens?

danger, will robinson! take evasive action! dive! dive!

eh, that recipe wasn't so good anyway. where was the spice, where was the garlic? no, this is no soup for us! time to improvise! replace the cooking water with stock. reduce the amount of water so it doesn't have to thicken. add leftover chopped onions and tomatoes from taco night on sunday. add some chopped carrot. say, this looks good. let's see what i can do about those spices... ah, that's much better!

lentil (s)oops heat the stock in a soup pot to boiling
pour in the lentils and boil for a few minutes, but don't let it boil over
turn it down to medium heat. see that weird scum? spoon it off.
add the bay leaves
add the onions, carrots and tomatoes
go ahead and add the garlic as well
using a mortar and pestle crush the whole spices together, tie into a small cheesecloth pouch, and toss it in the soup.
don't have a mortar and pestle? lay everything out on a cutting board and crunch it with a rolling pin
don't have cheesecloth? do as i did: toss everything into a loose tea ball
add the garam masala and a little salt and pepper.
this should be ready in about 20 minutes, tops. if the stock boils out too quickly, add a little water.

my zuska requested i not serve this with crostini, or little cheese breads. okay, but i was feeling it was a little weak in the protein department. we had ours with little slices of homemade country kielbasa, cooked and sliced into little disks. i'd like to suggest a nice dollop of sour cream in the bowl when serving. or for a more traditional feel, yogurt and a wedge of lime.

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