Monday, January 19, 2009
For Christmas I was fortunate to get a lot of nice new cooking items, from prep bowls, knives, silicon baking pans, cookie racks, subscription to Bon Appetit to mention a few. I also recently purchased Ina Garten' s (Barefoot Contessa's) cookbook. I have been excited to start using all these new items. The prep bowls are really handy as I can cut all the ingredients up and measured everything out in advance, so that when I am cooking, things are ready immediately and I am not scrambling to chop something up or find a spice. This makes cooking simpler and makes for an easier clean up.
What better time to cook then on a Sunday morning or afternoon. So before heading to a friends for dinner, cards and Sunday night football I made a couple dishes. The inspiration for most of my posts this week come from a recent outing to an Indian restaurant. Although most of the group I was with decided to try the Indian Buffet, which looked and smelled fantastic, I opted for something lighter. Instead I had a delicious bowl of Dhaal "Indian yellow lentil soup" with some amazing warm and fresh Naan bread. The soup had a great cumin flavor.
I decided that I wanted to make a few Indian style dishes. Although I did not make Dhaal, I did decide on making a lentil soup. Much of the foods eaten in India are vegetarian based, and lentils are very much a staple, providing a great source of fibre, iron, folate and protein. I adapted a recipe from Barefoot Contessa. The soup is so hearty it could easily be served as a stew over rice or with some crusty fresh bread. It made so much that I am pretty sure I will be eating soup for lunch at least for the next 2 weeks.
1 T olive oil
1 lbs green lentils (about 2 3/8 cups)
4 cups yellow onions, chopped
2 cups leeks, white parts, chopped about 3 large leeks
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cups large carrtos, large diced
2 cups celery, large diced
12 cups chicken stock
19 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper
In a large bowl cover lentils with boiling hot water and let sit for 15 min. Drain.
In a large pot add the oil, onions, leeks, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, caraway seeds and cayenne. Sautee over medium heat for 20 mins, until veggies are translucent.
Add carrots and celery and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add stock, paste, diced tomatoes and lentils. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer with lid off for 60 minutes.
Lentil soup gets very thick, so add more chicken stock as desired.