Jun 1, 2010

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried Lentil Soup 

Once in a while I have to give one of my old (tried and true) recipes a new twist to see what I can come up with. It’s one of my favorite pastimes, which I realize is totally pathetic. Is that something you do too, or do you stick with recipes as you know them? I’m just always messing with them, with varying results. 


This time I took my basic lentil soup recipe—one that I think even my grandmother made—and revved it up with a touch of curry and cumin and turned it into a hearty soup that could easily pass for a stew. I absolutely love how it turned out: thick, fragrant and very satisfying. I’m using chicken broth but you can easily replace that with just water and salt turning this into a vegetarian/vegan recipe in the blink of an eye. 

Ingredients: 

4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 medium potatoes
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste 
2 medium/ large carrot
1 large onion
1 big  leek
1 cup dried lentils
2 garlic cloves
4 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
dried thyme
pepper
salt 

Directions: 

Gotta love veggies. Here’s what I put in there.
Curried Lentil Soup 

Wash and finely mince the leek. Just cut the leek into quarters lengthwise, fan the leaves apart under running water to remove all dirt and finely mince them. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

Peel and finely mince the carrots. Just out of curiosity, do you peel your carrots or do you just wash them and chop ‘em?
Curried Lentil Soup 

Give your onion a chop as well.
Curried Lentil Soup 

And grate two medium or 1 really large garlic clove.
Curried Lentil Soup 

There are people who soak their lentils. I’m not one of them. I also don’t soak my split peas, takes way too much time and my recipe ideas are simply too fugacious for that. Cooking is a spur of the moment thing for me, so I just rinse them well.
Curried Lentil Soup 

Heat 2 tbsp oil and cook the onions and carrots for about 5 minutes. Give the onions a good sweat, and I feel like such a freak for saying that, sweating onions. Weird. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

That gives you time to peel, wash and finely mince the potatoes. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

As soon as the onions are sweating (!), add the leeks and garlic. Cook for 3 more minutes. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

Add 4 tsp curry powder, 1/2 a tsp ground cumin and 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste. Cook everything for one more minute. Just because you can. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

Let’s save you some scrolling. Add the cubed potatoes, lentils, diced tomatoes, water, chicken bouillon cubes, a really good pinch of salt and pepper and some dried (or fresh) thyme to taste. Give it a good stir and bring the soup to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Until the vegetables and lentils are well done. 
Curried Lentil Soup 

Last but not least, finely chop some flat-leaf parsley and stir it in right before serving the soup. Check the seasoning.
Curried Lentil Soup 

Have picky eaters at home? You can easily turn this into a really smooth soup by transfering half of the soup (or all of it) to a blender or use your immersion blender and adding a little extra chicken broth.

This was a real flavor bomb. Not to mention it’s so thick and hearty it could easily make a full meal. Definite do-again.
Curried Lentil Soup

Curried Lentil Soup
Ingredients
  • 4 cups water
    2 chicken bouillon cubes
    2 medium potatoes
    1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
    1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
    2 medium/ large carrot
    1 large onion
    1 big leek
    1 cup dried lentils
    2 garlic cloves
    4 teaspoons curry powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    dried thyme
    pepper
    salt
Directions
  1. Wash and finely mince the leek. Just cut the leek into quarters lengthwise, fan the leaves apart to remove all dirt and finely mince them. Peel and finely mince the carrots. Chop the onion. Grate or mince the garlic.

    Rinse your lentils, and heat 2 tbsp oil. Cook the carrots and onions for about 5 minutes. Use this time to peel, wash and cube the potatoes. After 5 minutes you add the leek and garlic to the onion mix, and cook it for 3 more minutes. Add 4 tsp curry powder, 1/2 a tsp ground cumin and 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste. Cook everything for one more minute.

    Add the cubes potatoes, lentils, diced tomatoes, water, chicken bouillon cubes, a really good pinch of salt and pepper and some dried (or fresh) thyme to taste. Give it a good stir and bring the soup to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Until the vegetables and lentils are well done. Finely chop a good handful of flat-leaf parsley and stir it in before serving the soup.

    Serve the soup with a thick slice of lightly buttered whole wheat bread!
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Feb 10, 2010

Cheese & Onion Biscuit Bread

I’ll often crave crispy warm bread. Know that feeling? Sometimes I think I’m a carb junkie, other times I know for sure. Bread is just so full of flavor and versatile—especially when you toss little knobs of butter on top until they melt all over the warm and crispy bread. Yum. Unfortunately I don’t always have time to make bread dough, let it rise (twice) and then bake it. So…