I had a student confess she only signed up for my cooking classes after tasting this soup at the intro lecture.
This is as close as I can get you to my vision of comfort food; it approximates split pea soup in consistency, but with bright sweet, gingery and peppery taste rewards.
There are just four common ingredients with only water for stock. It’s hard to believe you can get this much bang for so few ingredients and small expense. The cost to make this big batch is what you would pay for just a cup at a restaurant.
Red lentils are a cook’s dream, a bean that needs no soaking. It has a meaty, peppery flavor and dissolves into a creamy base with only a short cook time.
oil- 1 TBS.. bland
onion- 2 cups, (1 large), small dice, [7 oz./198 gr.]
gingerroot- 1-1/2 TBS., peeled, grated, (not minced or chopped)
water- 7 cups
salt- 2 tsp.
pepper- to taste
parsley- 1/3 cup, minced, then measured
Marsala wine (opt.)- 2 TBS., adds a subtle, smoky tone
In a soup pot add the oil and sauté onions for a minute or so, then add sweet potatoes and continue to cook for a couple minutes more.
Stir in the lentils, ginger, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, about 25 minutes. The lentils should dissolve into the broth. Puree some of the soup if you want a creamier consistency.
Adjust seasonings, you want to taste a good lick of ginger, add more if needed.
PRESSURE COOKER ALTERNATIVE: Bring contents to full pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Quick release.
Lentils are a legume rich in protein, fiber and key nutrients. Soups made from lentils and split peas thicken quite a bit after cooling. Thin the soup to retain a creamy consistency.
Gingerroot needs to be finely grated. Mincing will not work as well.
ALTERNATE RECIPE: Jamaican Lentil Soup
Exchange parsley with cilantro; add scotch bonnet based hot sauce to taste
Home-meals are not leftovers so much as they become planned-overs. This “Red Lentil Stewp” will put another bloom on the flower.
Reheat and add some or all of the following: cooked macaroni or rice, bits of cooked protein—chicken, tofu, or salmon—a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. If you have baby spinach, add to soup pot and simmer a few minutes until tender, then add in cooked components.