For all you starving students out there looking to keep things cheap and tasty, meet your new best friend:
This edible seed from the Lens Culinaris plant is a delicious staple from the Indian subcontinent. Lentils have made there way to west and are now easily found in most grocery stores. The seeds come in a variety of colours but the most common here in Canada are red and yellow. Interestingly enough, Canada is the second largest producer of lentils in the world, or so says their Wikipedia article, but enough of their history.
On to the food!
Inspired by my Friend/Co-worker Hilary and her amazing photography/crafting/baking/food blog, I got the idea for my first recipe from the Canadian Living website. One of the best parts of this recipe is the affordability of all the ingredients. Lentils cost pennys a serving and all the fresh ingredients (the ginger, carrots and onions) are amazingly cheap staples as well.
When looking at the recipe I knew that there wasn’t going to be enough lentils in recipe to suit my tastes. I prefer my soups on the heavier side especially if they are being served for dinner. I resolved that by doubling the amount of lentils and throwing in a few baby potatoes that were lying around. I just made sure to cut the potatoes small enough that they’d cook as quickly as the carrots and lentils. To garnish the soup, I just chopped up a green onion to add some colour and a bit of crunch.
One thing that you readers should probably know about me is I LOVE ginger. Now, this isn’t just a kindergarten crush for the root, but rather a deep founded love based on a mutual respect. I respect the root for its fiery deliciousness and it respects me for not using its inferior and much less fragrant powdered/dried form.
Due to this passion for ginger, I ended up adding a bit more than the prescribed 1 tbsp. (More like 1.5 /2 tbsp) Though, if you aren’t a fan of spice, I recommend keeping the ginger at around 1 tbsp.
One last word of warning, make sure you don’t overload your blender, there is nothing worse than having scalding soup spray everywhere because you filled up the blender too full.
In the end, I had a delicious spicy soup that cost less then $2 a serving and took less then 45 minutes to make. Not bad for the first blog post!
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 3 peeled and sliced carrots
- 2 chopped onions
- 2 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 6 cups Vegetable/Chicken Stock
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 3 small baby potatoes diced
- 3 diced green onions
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, salt and pepper, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add broth, potatoes and lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until carrots and lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
In batches in blender or food processor, purée lentil mixture until smooth. Return to pan and heat through.