Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Raymond said the RED LENTIL SOUP was the best soup ever the other night, and though I didn't write down the proportions, I assured him I had at least written down the ingredients so I could duplicate it again some day. But now I seem to have lost them. But how hard could it be to remember? This soup will be a yellowish tan color, not red, when cooked, unfortunately, and reminds me more of a yellow split pea soup consistency than of a lentil soup.

Saute one large chopped onion and eight sliced carrots, five cubed potatoes and two stalks of chopped celery in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Start off in the most huge pot you have so you don't have to transfer everything later on, like I did.
Throw in several sliced garlic cloves and about three cups of dry red lentils that have been rinsed. They clump together after rinsing, but they will behave once the water is poured on them. Pour in about four quarts (sixteen cups) of water. I did say to use an enormous pot.

I added some chopped broccoli and some leftover cooked bok choy, and since I hadn't used the jicama yet, I peeled and cubed that and threw it in. I wasn't sure what else I was going to do with it, though I think I have a salad recipe for it somewhere around here.
I added about a tablespoon of Wizard Baldour's Vegan Worcestershire Sauce. I added in about a teaspoon each of thyme and parsley, of turmeric, of my own curry powder and sambhar powder (recipes for those are probably available on line somewhere, though I based mine on recipes in The Spice Box, a vegetarian Indian cookbook. Or maybe you can buy them in a special foods store.). I threw in a bay leaf.
I cooked the soup on high until it came to a boil, and then on lower heat for about maybe forty five minutes. It might even have been ready before that, but I was doing something, so didn't check. That is the good part about making soup: after you throw everything in the pot, you can just walk away.
At the end, after turning off the soup, I added about one third a cup of brown rice miso and the juice of two limes to the pot and stirred it all together.
There was enough to scoop into a big container to send over to the grandparents, and enough for two dinners for five people and somebody's lunch. I love it when there's a lot of something tasty. So much better than a lot of something that didn't turn out so well.
I went upstairs to eat it in peace and quiet, and with the first bite I came upon something crunchy. “Drat,” I thought, “The potatoes aren't soft yet.” Then I ate several that were, and suddenly remembered the jicama. Apparently its main attribute is to remain crunchy however long you cook it, as it crunched even after being reheated for leftovers.
Ha Ha! I just found my ingredient list on the desk under the phone, for some reason. I hadn't forgotten anything but a sprinkle of Hungarian paprika. If my curry powder wasn't so hot, I would have added some red pepper, too.
The little decorative piece of Italian parsley decorating the soup is from a plant still growing in my kitchen. It isn't lush, but it's good enough for occasional sprigs here and there.

1 comment:

  1. I love red lentils despite their false advertising. Great to see you here on the Internet Bethany. Your blog looks great and I'll peruse the back posts when I need some entertainment between writing my articles.
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    My best,