January 29, 2009

One Pot Wonders: Cumin Lentil Soup

Don't we have super classy placemats?

A funny story about lentils: (pronounced len-tuhls. I know you know that, but it becomes important in the story...). Because, really, who doesn't need a funny story about lentils?

When I was working at Lehigh, a bunch of us awesome Greek life staffers went out for dinner before going to a program. The server came over and started listing off the specials of the evening. When he got to soup, he said "And we have a delicious len-tile soup...". My coworker, Meredith, leaned over to me after he left and said "Len-tiles? Are those non-Jewish beans?" We just about spit our drinks all over the table. Hilarious! So, now, everytime I eat lentils, I think to myself - AHH! Lentiles! The non-Jewish beans! Good one, Mer.

I would just like to state for the record that packing and moving sucks. I hate it with the fiery burn of a thousand suns. I tried to pack up most of the kitchen, but stopped because then we can't eat, and I refuse to eat out for the next 11+ meals. My bank account would reach through the computer and probably smack me upside the head.

So, who did I turn to in my time of cooking need? My Nesties, of course! I asked my Money Matters ladies for some one-pot wonders because well...that's about all I have left. A soup pot, a few pans, my dairy cooking utensils and my mixer. I packed the spices and then realized that was a bad idea when I was tearing through tape yesterday, looking frantically for my cumin. Of course, it comes in one of those mini spice containers that managed to sink to the bottom of the box and hide under the Cuisinart. Oh, if you could have seen me! "Where the **** is the ****** cumin? I know I packed it!! What the ****? Are we out? I know we have it! DAMMIT!"

Where was I? Oh, right...Nesties. A wonderful Nestie (who is being induced right now!) mentioned that she loved Cumin Lentil Soup. I had nearly everything she listed so after a quick and slushy trip to the Giant, I threw the soup together and let it simmer during the evening. Fortunately, I had a snow day, so I was able to pack and cook at the same time. The soup is really good! I love the flavor of the lentils and the spicy punch of cumin. I mistakenly added too much black pepper, but we both liked the heat. It's suprisingly filling, too. I added some crusty bread and it was a wonderful dinner on a cold and icy night.

5 carrots, chopped
5 celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2.5 cups green lentils (approx 1 lb)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
10 cups water (I used 2 cups vegetable broth + 8 cups water. I think broth adds more flavor! I'll probably do all 10 cups of broth next time)

Sort and rinse lentils. Using a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and sweat for about 10 minutes. Add the cumin, bay leaves, lentils and water. Stir and turn up heat until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste, if you want more salt and pepper. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!


Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This looks delicious and I've been want to cook with lentils lately!

Gillian said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yum! I love cumin and I love lentils - perfect combination for me! :)

I agree with the broth comment. I'm making a lentil soup tonight that calls for x-cups veg broth but I'm using half of that amount white wine and half veg broth. Always a great sub!

SJOGREN said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think I might make this tonight, Beth!

Mariel said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Num! Cumin is what makes that orange lentil soup I made for you guys so delicious. Tastes savory and maybe a teensy bit sweaty, like the middle east. Bibi made this...dare I say retardedly simple lentil soup from a nytimes recipe yesterday and it was delicious: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/health/nutrition/26recipehealth.html?scp=3&sq=lentil%20classic&st=cse. just thought you might wanna check it out.