Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Simple Red Lentil Soup with Greens

In a few minutes, I am off to the local public library (see post below for all the details) to do the last of three cooking demonstrations connected to the cookbook I developed: New Haven Cooks/Cocina New Haven. For tonight's event we will be cooking Seven Pepper Collard Greens with guest Tabitha Carter who submitted this recipe to the cookbook. They are not your average collard greens!  I will also be demonstrating two "sneaky greens" recipes that help people "sneak" a few more greens into their meals. All these recipes can be found in the wonderful bilingual community cookbook. Also, not your average community cookbook.

At some point I will post all of those recipes, but for a moment I want to sing the praises of one, the red lentil soup. Lentils are very inexpensive, incredibly tasty, nutritious and  easy and quick to cook.
If you have ever had dahl or lentil soup at an Indian or Middle Eastern restaurant this soup will be familiar to you. while those soups may have some spices such as cumin and coriander added to them, the bulk of the flavor is derived from those tiny red lentils.
For this recipe, you just put 2 cups of red lentils in a heavy bottomed soup pot, add 6 cups of water a finely chopped small onion, a few pinches of salt and let it simmer away. in about 30 minutes you will have a delicious soup. Finely chop some greens such as spinach or kale, toss into the soup simmer a few minutes until the greens are tender (about 1 minute for spinach, a little longer for kale).

If you want to add more complexity, try adding some cumin seed, hot pepper, chopped tomato or any other spices you like.

After tonight I'll have some good pictures (I hope) of Tabitha cooking her collards, so check back for that recipe soon.

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