Saturday, February 1, 2014

Red Lentil and Carrot Soup

I know you've all been wondering, "what does Mike eat?" Well, Mike likes to eat, and likes to cook, and so does the rest of the family. This is kind of a mystery, since my parents were not really cooks. Dad could heat up a meal with enough directions, and while mom cooked for us, there was a large amount of canned and frozen "things" which I guess was somewhat of a phase moms went through in that era.

However, given the level if food snobbery to which my family and I have attained, meatless Fridays are still meatless, but much less penitential. Is it really offering up a small sacrifice if you're eating gourmet? Not that I would call my cooking gourmet, but it is yummy stuff.

With Lent coming up in just over a month, I visited Meatless Friday fun at Catholic Mom and decided to post a recipe. The problem is my conscience. You see, as a child, meatless Fridays and days of abstinence were always penitential in terms of food. We ate such scrumptious fare as canned spaghetti (yes, it exists) and scrambled eggs, or tuna fish salad sandwiches.

And so it is with a small amount of guilt I make things like homemade pizza, shrimp stir fry, or red lentil and carrot soup. The last is adapted from a recipe I found on epicurious that we made for a party where we had several vegetarian guests. Everyone liked it so much it's become a dish we make for ourselves as well.

1 pound red lentils
7 cups vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small bag of baby carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon mushroom powder (or 1 cup fresh mushrooms, diced)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon curry powder
Sriracha to taste
Scallions and cilantro for garnish

Bring lentils and stock to a boil, skim off foam. In the meantime saute the vegetables in a little olive oil. Add vegetables and spices. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Sriracha sauce, and simmer for 15 minutes or so. Serve with chopped scallions and cilantro, and some crusty bread on the side. Yum.

Give it a try this Lent. If you like it, you can feel guilty too.

[Note: I don't typically photograph my food, so the photo above is from Thrifty Living which has a similar, tasty looking recipe, if you don't like all those spices.]


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