Silence & South-Asian Inspired Lentil Soup

As a follow-on to my celebratory birthday cake-a-thon, I spent my 422nd month curled up with a series of heart-warming movies on Netflix for inspiration in my old age. I started out light with Donnie Darko–a classic, oft-told tale of a boy (Jake Gyllenhaal) who narrowly escapes death only to be stalked by a psycho giant fluffy alien-bunny named Frank who makes him commit bad, very bad crimes. Duh.

Brace yourself. . . 

If you haven’t seen Donnie Darko, you’re missing out. Not only is it one of the only movies with both Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal (in fact, the movie that basically launched their careers), but it is produced by Drew Barrymore, and stars film powerhouses…Seth Rogan…AND…Ashley Tisdale… Jake called it one of his “proudest moments of [his] career.” We’re proud too, Jake. So proud…

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Potty mouth! 

Next up in my old-person film marathon, was another inspiring tale: Into the Wild–the true story of Christopher McCandless–an emory grad who has a fifth-life crisis and rather than becoming a banker, decides to disappear–the obvious choice.  He burns his cash, ditches his identification and heads off into the wild making his way south to Mexico (Ole!)  before heading north to live with the Grizzly Man in an abandoned bus in Alaska. [Spoiler Alert!] He dies.

Perhaps because I’m living back in the center of the Universe and am constantly surrounded by people dressed in black, the idea of dropping everything and heading into the wild, is fairly appealing.

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It’s not Alaska, but it’s what I got for now and that’s juuuust fine. 

Planning ahead for next year, I’ve been thinking of flying to India to hike up to everest base camp for my 36th. Lots of quiet time to contemplate the meaning of life when you have to gasp for air!

Just setting the mood…

Anyhow….as a prelude to 2017, I’ve stolen a recipe from my new friend Natalia for some ethnically ambiguous/sort of Indian soup. It’s deeeelicious and very filling. IMG_0121

To make this soup, first gather your ingredients. You’ll need 2-3 large potatoes; 2 large red onions; 1/2 tbsp of ground cumin; 1 tsp ground coriander; ~6 tbsp olive oil; 4 large cloves of garlic; 1 fresh red chili pepper; 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro; 1 cup red lentils; 6 cups chicken stock; 1 can of coconut milk(unsweetened); 1 lemon; salt and pepper for taste.First preheat the oven to ~450 F. Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice the potatoes and the onions into 1” chunks. Sprinkle the onions and potatoes with the ground cumin an coriander and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the veggies. Place into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until soft.

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Peel and slice the garlic. Finely chop the chili. Chop the fresh cilantro in two and push the stalks to one side. Finely chop the cilantro leaves in one pile and the stalks in another. Set both aside. IMG_0070

In the base of a large pot or dutch oven, saute the garlic, chili and cilantro stalks in olive oil. Once the veggies have softened a bit (2 minutes or so), add the red lentils. Stir the veggie mixture for 1-2 minutes and then add the coconut milk. IMG_0072

Cook the lentils for about 20 minutes. The lentils should turn soft and break down at this point. Remove the potatoes and onions from the oven and add to the coconut milk-lentils. Bring the soup to a boil. IMG_0076

Add in the chopped cilantro leaves.This soup can be served as is (really delicious this way) or blended to create a creamy, split-pea like texture. Keep some extra spices, a lemon, and feta cheese on hand to finish the soup off and bring out the flavors as you like.IMG_0111

 

Let me know how yours turns out!

Muy delicioso,

–GG


Ambiguously ethnic delicious lentil soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious and very hearty indian-tasting lentil soup made with coconut milk and sweet potatoes.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6 bowls
Ingredients
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 large or 3 medium red onions
  • ½ tbsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 6 tbsp + olive oil
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander or cilantro
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can of (light) coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. First preheat the oven to ~450 F. Peel the sweet potatoes. Slice the potatoes and the onions into 1'' chunks.
  2. Sprinkle the onions and potatoes with the ground cumin an coriander and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the veggies.
  3. Place into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes or until soft.
  4. Peel and slice the garlic.
  5. Finely chop the chili.
  6. Chop the fresh cilantro in two and push the stalks to one side. Finely chop the cilantro leaves in one pile and the stalks in another. Set both aside.
  7. In the base of a large pot or dutch oven, saute the garlic, chili and cilantro stalks in olive oil. Once the veggies have softened a bit (2 minutes or so), add the red lentils. Stir the veggie mixture for 1-2 minutes and then add the coconut milk.
  8. Cook the lentils for about 20 minutes. The lentils should turn soft and break down at this point.
  9. Remove the potatoes and onions from the oven and add to the coconut milk-lentils.
  10. Bring the soup to a boil. Add in the chopped cilantro leaves.
  11. Blend if you like!
  12. Add some lemon, and salt and pepper for taste.
  13. Garnish with cilantro leaves and some feta cheese.

 

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