Monday, October 12, 2009

OK It's Cold in NY. Now What?

As soon as you can feel Winter in the air, as if the air particles are tinged with ice, it's time for soup. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's not even November, yet, and the air is freakin cold! What's going on? It's supposed to just be Fall!! Summer just ended, why, a matter of weeks ago. Well, not that Mother Nature is particularly cruel--I'm sure we'll have some warm[er] days in the next few weeks before the icy chill sets in for good, but I must say, I'm not too unhappy being forced into wearing woolly sweaters and sipping on steamy stews.

I found this recipe online, actually, at a site I had never before visited. I adapted my recipe from this Design Sponge Online page. Having grown up eating a lot of Mediterranean food, I'm familiar with the concept of red lentil soup. But, I tell you, this soup is different! Now, I love red lentil soup. Squeeze of lemon, black pepper ever-present--who wouldn't love it? And I do love it. However, this soup has flavors I had never thought of putting in lentil soup before. With lemongrass and red curry paste, it's exciting to my cortex as idea AND as taste.

I also made my rendition of the bread in the link above. Simple, crusty, and a great accompaniment to the thick, stew-like soup.

2/3 lemongrass stalk (see how to prepare here), minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 yellow onions, diced
1 mounded T red curry paste
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
2 lbs potatoes, peeled, large diced
2 1/2 c rinsed red lentils
8-10 c vegetable stock (recipe here)
1 15-oz can peeled, diced tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

1. Over medium heat, saute lemongrass, garlic, onions, curry paste, and ginger, about 5-10 min.
2. Add potatoes, lentils, stock, and tomatoes. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, 40 min. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Super Easy Baguettes
2 1/2 c luke warm water
1 package dry yeast
4 c white bread flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 T salt

  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, sprinkle yeast over water. Let sit 5-10 min, till it starts to bubble.
  2. Add flour and salt, mix on medium speed, until well mixed but not letting dough to climb hook.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, let sit about 2 hrs.
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper lightly sprayed with oil. Flour a surface. Dump sticky, not-too-well-mixed dough out onto flour. Divide into 3 equal portions.
  5. Twist each portion of dough into oblong baguettes. Slash each with a knife.
  6. Bake at 480 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 and bake for another 13-15 min. Allow to sit on pan, cooling, without being cut, for about 10 minutes. Serve with butter and bowl of soup!

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