I love writing this blog, but occasionally I run into technical problems that take days to unravel. It’s amazing how many hours, and then days, can go by just trying to figure out what is wrong. I do apologize for the little hiatus in posts. To console my tech woes, I made some really good lentil soup.
Lentils are supercomfort for me. When I was a superbroke student, my go-to meal was lentils cooked together with brown rice, then refried with butter, ground cumin, and ground coriander. This concoction was then stuffed into oversize tortillas and wolfed down in terrifyingly large quantities.
Lentils are still one of the cheapest, most satisfying ingredients available, and I still cook a lot of them. I’ve become especially fond of the red ones (they’re also called pink lentils and orange lentils; their color is more orange than pink or red). They make an unbelievable crust: you just grind them in a spice grinder till you get a fine powder, sprinkle over anything you’d like to get really crunchy, spray with olive oil, and bake or fry. Works great for baked tofu, meatloaf, fish, stuffed squash, chicken. . . .
Another favorite use of lentils is for soup. Dice a large onion and a few carrots and saute them in a soup pan with oil from garlic confit (or olive oil, or butter, or a combo of the two), add large pinches of freshly ground cumin, black pepper, maybe some ground-up chiles, and salt. When the onions get soft, add about two cups of red lentils and saute a little more. Then add a quart or so of chicken stock or vegetable stock, bring to a boil rapidly, and then simmer for roughly 45 minutes. Blend thoroughly in the Vita Prep, and get ready for comfort injection.
I like to garnish the bowls of soup with a good glop of Greek yogurt, some orange zest, and herb of choice. I used nasturtium leaves today, but you could use whatever — chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary, mint, tarragon, or a combo. Be sure it’s adequately salted, slice up some bread, and have a seat.
If anyone has any breakaway ideas for lentils, speak up!