Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kick out the cold

I woke up this morning feeling a cold coming on. It skipped the head and went straight to my chest. Suddenly the cheese-topped pizza I'd planned for dinner didn't sound so good.

Soup, however, sounded perfect. Even if it's not my normal choice to celebrate the coming spring, smooth warmth against my throat was what I needed.

I searched for a ginger lentil soup, found a recipe that I had enough of the ingredients for, and I was set.

 So my Cold-Kicking Carrot-Lentil Soup (adapted from Daily Unadventures in Cooking)

A drizzle of vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Big knob of ginger (I used maybe 3-4 inches worth), grated
3 finger peppers (I think that's what they were called. Little spice peppers), chopped
1/2 a pound of carrots (rest of my bag, 6 or so carrots), grated
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
Yogurt (or sour cream)

1. Caramelize the onions in the oil. Add in the garlic, ginger, and peppers. Cook for another minute or so before...

2. Add in the stock, lentils, and carrots. Pinch in some salt. Grind a little bit of pepper. Sprinkle in some cayenne (I was running out of it, so I only had a teeny bit).

3. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes until lentils are soft.

4. Add in the lemon juice. Put in blender on low until smooth.

Serve. Top with yogurt (or sour cream) for friends who don't have a cold and need to tone down the heat.