Monday, October 31, 2016
A Kitchen Keeper Original - Rainy Day Curried Lentil Soup
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite......and the rains came down. The Silver Fox and I decided to tempt fate today, and in a crazy moment of blind optimism went to the Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Festival. "How bad can it be?" says he to me. It was not one of our wiser decisions. Rain does not begin to describe what fell from the sky this afternoon, and wet can't describe the condition it left us in. The worst of it was the vendor who makes a mushroom soup to die for, didn't show up this year, so we never got the bowls of soup that might have warmed our innards. We returned home, wet and hungry, with some friends we bumped into at the festival. I decided to make this very quick curried lentil soup, and with some help from my sad looking crew we had lunch on the table in less than an hour. This soup is a pantry affair and it is perfect for a simple foul weather meal. I think you will enjoy it. It is easy to do and I suspect you, too, have all the ingredients you need to make it in your pantry. I love the kick bacon gives this soup, but if you are not a meat eater, use 3 tablespoons of olive oil to saute the vegetables and you'll have a soup more to your liking. Here is how I make this family friendly lentil soup.
Curried Lentil Soup..from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices thick-cut smoked bacon, snipped in 1-inch pieces
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon Kosher salt + salt to taste
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (15-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound lentils
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1) Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crisp. Drain bacon on a plate lined with paper toweling.
2) Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger to pot. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and saute until vegetables are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in black pepper and curry powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, drained tomatoes, chicken broth, water, lentils and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, skimming and discarding any foam that forms on surface of soup. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
3) Using an immersion blender, puree about 1/3 of mixture to slightly thicken soup. Stir in vinegar or lemon juice and cilantro. Adjust seasonings to taste with additional salt and pepper. Stir in bacon and sere. Yield 6 to 8 servings.
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