Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Soup's on!

Sometimes my home-kitchen explorations leave me feeling much like the little rat from the Pixar flick "Ratatouille": bedazzled by the perfect pairing of certain foods. Take, for instance, the fragrant marriages of carrots and ginger, and onion and cumin...
And meld that with earthy lentils and sweet dried apricots:
Put it all together in a soup pot with some chicken stock, and you've got yourself some really delicious soup, blended till silky smooth and easy to store and reheat on a cold winter day.
Turkish Apricot & Lentil Soup (adapted from 101cookbooks)
Makes about 6 cups

- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1-1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 5 cups chicken stock (or water)
- 6 oz. dried Turkish apricots, chopped
- salt to taste

1. Sweat the onion and carrot in oil over medium heat, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and ginger, lower heat to medium-low, and cover for 10 more minutes.
2. Add the lentils and chicken stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils fall apart and the flavors and come together. Add salt to taste.
3. Remove from heat, stir in the apricots, and adjust seasoning. Also, you can add more liquid here if necessary.
4. Once cooled a bit, puree in a blender until totally smooth. Serve hot with some toasted baguette, or let cool and store in containers, up to 3 months in the freezer.

Happy fall! Welcome back, soup season...

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