My Mom loves me. She tells me I’m pretty without make-up. I know she thinks this because she’s my Mom. When other people see me without make-up for the first time, they usually ask if I have the flu. I’m okay with this. I’m thankful for make-up and the color it adds to my pale face.
Lentils are kind of ugly. People who do not grow up eating lentils need to be coaxed into eating them, especially in their pale brown watery soup state.
Enter the red lentil. It’s like a lentil with lipstick on. People will like it better because its prettier and that’s okay. If it’s needed to bring them into the wonderful world of lentils, than so be it. After a few years together, when the relationship gets to that comfortable stage, the paler lentil can show it’s face again and start wearing ugly pajamas to bed.
This recipe is slightly adapted from the New York Times column A Good Appetite ,written by Melissa Clark. ( Wednesday January 9, 2008)
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 TBL tomato paste
1 TBL cumin
2 QT free-range organic chicken broth
1 1/2 cups red lentils
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup cilantro – minced
In a large pot saute onions,carrots and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add tomato paste and cumin, cook 1 minute. Deglaze with chicken broth. Taste and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Add in lentils and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and reseason. With an immersion blender, puree about half the soup making sure to leave the rest of the soup chunky. Take the soup off the heat and add a few squeezes of the lemon and stir in cilantro. Taste and adjust to taste. Serve with grated pecorino cheese and crusty bread.
The most important part of this soup is to add the lemon juice and cilantro off the heat. When this soup was re-heated you could not taste the lemon or cilantro anymore.