Winter comfort food mach II ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

20 January 2009

Winter comfort food mach II

I'm still cold. Fortunately, we have onions and lentils and lots of hot hot water.

Red lentil, potato, and pea soup

olive oil
red lentils
veg broth/water
frozen peas
curry spices: turmeric, cumin, ginger, etc
salt, pepper

Chop up some onion, or, failing onion, some garlic, and soften it with olive oil in a reasonably sized soup pot. Add a variety of curry-oriented spices and stir to toast. Our spice cabinet is still pretty lacking, so I used premade curry powder spiked with some ginger and cumin. Clearly, real curry spices would work better. Use what sounds good.

Peel and dice as many potatoes as you want. I had a bunch of little redskin farmer's market dudes that turned out to actually have pink flesh. Add them to the softened onions. Then pour in a cupful or so of lentils, stir everything up, and add broth or water.

The amount of liquid depends on how liquid you want your soup, and how much of it you plan to let evaporate. More is always better, since you never know when you might be distracted by hanging out with someone in the other room, then return to find a black crust of burnt potatoes and onions clinging to the bottom of your pan. Yeah. I salvaged most of it to finish cooking in another pan, but still. Just add plenty of liquid to begin with.

Cover the soup and let it simmer, correcting seasonings as needed, until the potatoes and lentils are cooked through and falling apart. I really like my lentils to fall apart, which is why I use red ones, but you can use green and keep a closer eye on timing if you like your lentils whole.

When everything is done, add a bunch of frozen peas. Bring the soup back to a boil to ensure the peas are hot through. Simmer for a minute or two, taste for salt and pepper, and eat with big whacks of grainy toast or warm pita.

Food that works with lentil soup:
- lemony wilted greens: kale, spinach, chard, whatever.
- big cups of strong black tea.
- pretty much any Indian curry you can think of.
- rice pilaf.
- hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel.
- tabbouleh, fattoush, strong raita with thick yogurt.

Afterward, curl up in bed with a pile of books, some ginger cookies, and another cup of tea.

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