"Piehole" in Midwestern means "mouth," as in "Shut your piehole." Preferably we shut it on some tasty home cooking. We love to grow, market, buy, cook, bake and grill so we can feed our faces, chow down, pig out, scarf & whatnot. I'm a born Midwestern home cook posting foods and recipes that show up in front of me, because like all Midwesterners I eat what's put in front of me. Pull up a chair. What can I get you?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pink Lentil Vegetable Soup Recipe

Tired of dark, muddy lentil soups, I made this brighter, lighter, and tastier version with vegetable scraps, pink lentils, and spices of India: It's also a make-ahead recipe. Serves 4 to 6.

1-1/2 Tablespoons light-tasting vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine)
1 cup chopped green peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 rib celery, slice
1/2 cup dried pink lentils, picked clean
2-inch stick of cinnamon, broken
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
8 to 10 whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (regular white flour can be substituted)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup cream, or coconut milk (don't omit!)
freshly cooked basmati rice
1. Heat the oil in a soup kettle over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, lentils, spices, and flour.

2. Gradually add the water and mix well. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils are fully cooked but still hold their shape, 18 to 20 minutes. Uncover, and using a slotted spoon, remove 1 cup of the vegetables and lentils, and set aside. Puree the rest of the soup.

3. Add the salt, sugar and lemon juice to the puree. Stir in the cream and the reserved vegetables and and cook on gentle heat until piping hot. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with basmati rice. 

Note: Steps 1 and 2 can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigerated; wait until reheating time to add the seasonings, cream, and reserved vegetables.
-Recipe from Laxmi's Vegetarian Kitchen by Laxmi Hiremath, 1995.

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