Friday, February 27, 2009

Cold Days Call for Desperate Measures.

I've been hoping the weather would get warmer and spring would surprise us, but the -39 C with wind chills has been keeping me inside, looking for ways to stay warm.

One way to keep winter at bay is with a nice home-made soup. This one is such a winner. It warms from the inside out, it's very budget friendly, and it is delicious! It's from a magazine...I'm not sure which. The page just says "fit to eat". Is it Martha Stewart? I can't remember, but it is a keeper.
If you haven't yet tried lentils you should give this a go. Everyone in my family liked it, including the supremely picky 13 year old. It's spicy and thick and delicious. Be generous with the ginger. It gives it that touch of the extraordinary!

Spiced Red Lentil Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 diced plum tomatoes (or my substitute-1/2 cup salsa)
2 cups red lentils (I'm sure any lentil would work: we don't care what colour you are: we love you)
4 cups stock; chicken or vegetable
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon, or to taste, red pepper flakes or fresh ground pepper (I use X-tra spicy Mrs Dash)
Plain yogurt (optional)

In large pot, heat oil on medium high heat. Add first 6 ingredients and cook till onions are soft and golden, stirring often and scrapping browned bits, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes (If using salse, just add and stir well.)
Stir remaining ingredients into pan, raise heat to medium high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally untill lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Let stand about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
Using an immersion (or regular) blender, process soup till thick and as smooth as you like. I happen to like a little texture, but I do like it thick and "creamy".

Makes six servings. You can top with 1 tablespoon plain yogurt if you like. I didn't find it needed anything. I have served it with caramelized onions, and that was a delicious addition!

Enjoy! The only thing wrong with this recipe is that it only makes 6 servings!


Jennifer Conway said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm - sounds great! Thanks for sharing - I've already "cut and pasted" it, and think I'll try it out tomorrow!
*smiles* (-39 ~ yikes!)

Kim Mailhot said...

Nice cozy recipe, Miss Arlene. Thanks for sharing it !
Stay warm !(I hear sewing aprons can keep you warm - especially if you use flannel !;-))

Lots of love,

martha brown said...

Yummy yummy yum! I want to make this tomorrow!

martha brown said...

Flannel Apron!! What a brilliant idea Kim!hmmmm.....

arlene said...

Flannel anything sounds perfect right about now. It's STILL SO cold!

Vanessa said...

Yum! Such a good soup. Liam kept saying, "mmmm....mmmmm" as he ate it and after one large bowl of soup, he promptly asked for another!

arlene said...

Of course the real test is whether his daddy liked it!