I hope you all had an awesome New Year Celebration with your friends and family. We had fun despite my son being a little sick with a cold.
I like to start my first blogpost of 2012 with a five-spice lentil soup recipe. It has been COLD in New York these past days. We were having good temperatures and suddenly it got really really cold. It's been so cold, I've been trying to avoid going out.
I would normally make this soup with red lentils but all I had in my pantry was green lentils which is ok. I didn't think it was critical as to actually go out on the horribly-frezzing-cold just to get the "right lentils"
To me, the best way to eat this soup is with garlic bread which I make by simply grilling bread and then rubbing it with a garlic clove.
1 pound lentils, rinsed (red or green)
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts water (more if needed)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste
In a large pot, place the olive oil and set over medium heat. Add the onions and celery, cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the lentils, salt and the five spices, stir to combine. Add water, cover and cook until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Check the lentils after 20 minutes to make sure they have enough water. Taste and adjust salt and liquid if needed. Using a hand blender, puree the soup. Serve with warm garlic bread and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Drizzle bread with olive oil and grill it over high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. While bread still warm, rub it with a garlic clove. serve warm. So simple, so good.