Thursday, January 28, 2010
the easiest soup in the world
Here's another dish for which Nigel Slater deserves the credit. (Oh, and looking through my previous posts on this blog I just realized that my braised carrot recipe is probably from him as well. I hope I'm not going to turn into some weird kind of stalker, clutching a handful of recipe cards like a goth pre-teen with the latest by Neil Gaiman.) It's a revisiting of the red lentil and sweet potato soup from The Kitchen Diaries that I made last year, except I've simplified it even further. Instead of pureeing the soup I just left it chunky (a certain member of our household does NOT approve of the blender these days, and can make her displeasure known at high decibels). And in place of the garnish of sauteed onions, I added a bit of coconut milk--otherwise the soup would be fat-free, and I'm sorry, I just can't do fat-free, especially in winter. The result is creamy and spicy--but gently so, since the heat the comes mostly from the generous dose of ground ginger.
And the method, basically, amounts to throwing a few ingredients in a pot and letting them simmer. It's almost as easy as ordering a pizza. It's definitely easier than ordering Thai food (and takes roughly the same amount of time to get on the table). You can do this.
Simplest Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 C + 2 Tbsp red lentils
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 C coconut milk
Chop the onion and place it in a medium saucepan. Peel the garlic and press the cloves into the saucepan. Add the lentils and 6 cups water, and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into one-inch chunks. When the water in the saucepan boils, turn down the heat to a simmer and add the sweet potatoes, spices, and salt.
Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are very tender, about 25-30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and heat gently. Serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.