After the two pizza nights in less than a week, I thought I’d better go light. It’d be salad and cheese if it was summer, and fish and salad if I could be bothered to buy fish. But because it’s winter, I chose soup, and it’s easy to make. Boil, boil, boil…
I’d been meaning to make lentil soup for a while so I had bags of lentils of different kinds, yellow, red, green big and small. I went for red, thinking of Indian Dal Curry. The good thing about soup is that you can throw everything you don’t want to eat as its original form.
Let’s say you don’t like spinach. Then make soup your favourite veggies and just blend it all together. You won’t notice you’re eating spinach, though the colour is a damn give-way 🙂 It wasn’t a good example, though quick. Ok, cauliflowers and brussel sprouts, cook together with potatoes and make into puree, which I often did when minding kids. I don’t want to raise kids to become picky eaters.
I looked around for any veggies to get rid of and saw a stem of broccoli and half cauliflower. So I grated the stem and decided to roast cauliflower for a garnish and
also for texture, something to chew. When you chew, your body sends a signal to your brain that you’re full. So CHEW, please, as many times as you can.
Broccoli stems, leaves of cauliflower and other veggie scraps make good natural stock, and as they will be all puréed, you won’t notice a thing, and I like that. Perhaps, I should get a job in a rehab centre for people with eating disorders. Hmm….
Here you go again. The frozen ginger comes in handy. As I usually cook without recipes, but from the memories of the food I’ve eaten or cooking shows I’ve watched, I don’t have the exact measurements for my recipes. So you can also play around and add more of spices you like and less of the ones you don’t like. That way you don’t have to avoid certain dishes and get to eat everything. THAT is one of the great benefits of cooking at home for yourself. The cauliflower crouton idea isn’t original; it’s been done by many people. You can grill any kinds of veggies you prefer. Carrot crips or beetroot crisps or broccoli or what not, or go for real croutons. I just happened to have half cauliflower to get rid of. I sprinkled turmeric power for the colour and taste; white isn’t very appetising, is it? You can try making a salad with grilled cauliflower or brussel sprouts tossed in curry dressing and roasted hazelnuts. It tastes good and is healthy.
Oh, I am so glad to have finally shed good natural lights to my food for pretentious and arty shots. Every now and again, that kind of tactic is needed to make your blog look worth a visit as my friend says that we are living in the world that are driven by the looks and status.
Do you think I ate it after finishing taking photos? Yes, I did! I couldn’t resist it and I was hungry because it was past lunch time. If it had been another dish, I might not have, say pasta. I would have probably taste a bit and leave it till dinner time and reheat it. What a waste of energy. Well, sorry folk, I sometimes get grumpy and ramble about how the world is changing.
So I added a bit of chili power as it wasn’t as spicy as I’d thought. Ah, I took the chili out half way, and maybe that is why. But generally I have more tolerance to you so…
It was so so so goooood that I couldn’t hardly wait for Mr.O to try it. There is red lentil soup in Turkish cuisine, but the less use of spices and the addition of carrot and tomato paste are the differnce as you can compare here(traditional) and there(adapted). So whichever suits your taste, or make your own recipe and share with me!
Red Lentil Soup with Curried Cauliflower Croutons
1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils (rinsed)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
6 cups water or 3 cups water and 3 cup stock
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 dried red chili, broken in half
1 tsp curry powder
3 diced tomatoes
3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
sea salt to season
For Cauliflower Croutons
1 Tbsp olive oil
curry power to sprinkle(optional)
1. Start by grinding the spice seeds in a mortar
2. Add that into a saucepan with oil, onion, garlic, chili and other spices and fry for 3 mins till fragrant.
3. Add lentils and tomatoes and bring to a simmer, and then skim off any scum and cook for an hour over a very low heat.
4. While the soup is cooking, place the cauliflower florets in a baking tray and toss them in olive oil, and then grill till brown and crispy.
5. Process the soup with a blender till smooth and throw in some fresh herbs, if you wish, and then serve immediately with a spoonful of Greek style yogurt.