Monday, February 16, 2009

Rainy Day Lentil Soup

It has been bizarrely cold in Los Angeles this past couple of weeks. Today it was rainy. Rain always puts me in the stewing mood, and I had 3/4 of a red onion, carrot and celery sticks left over from my weekend roadtrip with NB, and some parsley from a couple of weeks ago... and best of all, a bag of lentils in my cupboard from some time last semester when I was sure I would make a lentil soup but never did. So lentil soup had to happen. Inspired by Ina Garten but mostly just what I had in the kitchen.

Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

(What I used)

3/4 red onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bag of dried lentils (1 lb... I hope you appreciate that I just dug through the trash to find that out)
2 carrots, diced
3 sticks of celery, sliced thinly
4 sticks of asparagus, sliced (kinda weird, but they were in the fridge...)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional, obv, but as an Asian I feel the need to add chili to everything)
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 gallon hot water
1 tbsp fresh parsley
3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp grated parmesan

If I had been shopping specifically for this, though, I would have also had:
More carrots / onion / celery
2 tbsp tomato paste / some fresh tomatoes, diced
Chicken stock in place of water

Rinse lentils and soak in hot water. Heat olive oil in soup pot (for lack of a better word...). Sautee garlic and onions until soft, 3-4 min. Add carrots and celery (and fresh tomatoes, if you have them), sautee until soft, another 7 minutes ish. Add seasoning minus 1/2 the parsley (and the tomato paste, if you're using that...). Stir in 2 tbsp red wine. Drain lentils, add to pot. Add asparagus. Add water / stock. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for an hour, stirring every... 10 min? Check the seasoning to make sure it's tasty.

Serve with chili flakes/parm/drizzle of red wine/drizzle of olive oil/parsley.

MmmmMMmmm nom nom noms. Easy peasy and makes the house smell great.

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