Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spiced Soup for a Wet Wintry Day

It is down right dreary here today, the winter darkness is upon us and the question looms, not only what to do when you basically cannot step out the front door without being soaked to the skin and having your head blown off but what on earth to do with these long evenings?
I have been hunkered in this cave all day watching the rain running down the window.  The plus side is that its now a very clean cave and one with a bit more food in it, but I miss the heat of the Berlin sun and the warm air on my face as I cycle my bike to the market for really cheap fruit and vegetables.  Do you know that minuscule fennel bulbs are 99c in one south Dublin fruit shop, extortionate to say the least.

We did manage to put on a smile and celebrate Halloween in style with all things gold, orange and glowing - pumpkins, balloons, sparklers, amazing fire lanterns, bright orange cheesy puffs which I could not resist, nuts, apple tart, ginger bread, orange cake all enjoyed by witches and vampires.

I also made a great soup which I haven't made for a year, it is warm, spiced and delicious and the ingredients cost about 50 cent per portion.
You will need for a warming winter lentil soup for two:
1 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, very finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
150g dried red lentils
2 pints of vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh coriander leaves to serve

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole dish.  Add the onion and cook slowly for about 10 minutes on a low heat until the onion is soft and caramelised.  Add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes.  Add the cumin and coriander and stir until you can just start to smell the spices, add the lentils and vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil, removing any scum which may appear floating on the top.  Turn the heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils have broken down completely.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice and add seasoning to taste.  Serve sprinkled with a few coriander leaves.


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