Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup


I love making soups. I made them all the time while in school. They are not as time consuming as people think, and you can make a ton at once. They are so nutrient dense and can be very filling. Most of my soups consist of a broth, a ton of chunky vegetables, some spices, and is served over rice, pasta, or potato. I have never been a fan of very liquidy soups. Usually my soups turn into stews after being refrigerated overnight. Last weekend on Viva, on one of many cooking shows I watched, the woman made a pureed soup. It started off chunky, but then she took a hand blender to it and reached the consistency that she liked. I liked this idea a lot.

In a big pot I heated about 2 tbsp of olive oil and then sauteed 1/4 large onion for about 3 minutes. I then added a few stalks of celery chopped, 2 carrots chopped, and one sweet potato chopped. I heated this for about 5 minutes, to soften the celery and carrot. This is then when I added 1 big clove of garlic chopped, and some fresh chopped ginger.

The size of the pieces of vegetables will be to your taste, but it is easiest when blending the soup to use smaller pieces; they will also cook faster that way. After the garlic and ginger were fragrant I added a can of diced tomatoes, plus a full can of water. You could use broth instead and add more if a lighter soup is what you like. The soup was brought to a simmer and then removed from the heat. This is where the hand blender came into action. I blended up the chunks of vegetables until it got to a consistency I liked. There were still some chunks but the broth became much thicker, from the blended vegetables. The soup was put back on the heat, and returned to simmering.

Once the soup was simmering, I added probably about a cup of red lentils (maybe more, I'm not to sure) that had been rinsed well. I left this simmering for about 20 minutes covered until the lentils were soft. During this time I added about 1/2 tsp of cumin and some salt and pepper. The soup was mild in flavour, and there was room for some more seasoning. I will probably double the cumin next time I make this.

The soup got very thick after being refrigerated but was still delicious. I also garnished with some scallions.

From baking on the weekend I have so many finely ground almonds, also referred to as almond flour. At 15 dollars a pound, I want to put this stuff to good use. Today I will be attempting to make a protein packed bread with it. Anyone have any other ideas of what to do with almond flour? (No more cookies though please, lol)

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