Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yellow-Lentil Soup with Cilantro Chutney

picture from marthastewart.com


Serves 4
  • For the soup
  • 1 teaspoon safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 6 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow lentils (12 ounces), rinsed well
  • Coarse salt
  • For the chutney
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons safflower oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger


  1. Make the soup: Heat oil and coriander seeds in a medium saucepan over high heat for 1 minute. Add stock and lentils. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, partially covered, until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 40 to 50 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Meanwhile, make the chutney: Pulse cilantro, lime juice, oil, and ginger in a food processor until cilantro is finely chopped. Serve soup topped with chutney.

Read more at Wholeliving.com: Yellow Lentil Soup with Cilantro Chutney  

Helpful Hint

This soup is thick enough to scoop up with papadums (Indian crackers), celery sticks, or cucumber spears. Soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

* Try doubling the recipe to save for a later use*

Soup is nourishing.  It has one broth that holds together many components.  In fact, soup has even been used as a metaphor for describing American culture, "we are just one big melting pot" we hear people say. This notion comes from the pot in which various metals are mixed and heated in order to make new compounds with greater strengths and advantages.  So it seems logical as to how this term began to describe American culture. Soup is similar to a melting pot since multiple ingredients are heated and blended together.

I like soup for the health factor, the convenience (when made in bulk) and for the warmth that it brings me as it gets happily spooned into my mouth.  I vaguely recall a few previous soup making efforts and I thought them to be rather enjoyable.  As the soup simmered on the stove, the house sizzled with the emanating aroma of garlic, ginger, coriander and lime.  The homemade vegetable stock was the best.
Slowly creating a broth from scratch could easily be considered a cathartic process.  When we take part in the creation of our food, in even the most fundamental stages, that sense of responsibility bubbles over into other areas of our life. Cooking in this way gives you a deeper understanding of what it takes to create something excellent from scratch.  It is easy to cultivate these qualities from three simple household items: a large pot, a few basic ingredients and a spoon. 
 Photo Gallery

The assortment of chopped veggies. 
Grating the fresh ginger root.
This is a bundle of thyme from our garden.  I can always use a bundle of thyme! *winks*
Aha! I have some leftover ginger. Why not use this to make some ginger tea?
These tea bags can be purchased at Whole Foods. 
The tea bag full ginger... you could even use this as a poultice, although a ginger root poultice is typically done using dried ginger root. Ginger has been shown to relieve pain due to inflammation from arthritis and various sporting injuries.
The vegetable stock is ready to be strained. 
But first I need to taste the broth.  After a long day in the garden I am hungry!  Yes, tastes great.  Now, let's eat!
I ran the vegetable stock through my chinois in order to separate the veggies from the stock. 
For the chutney, simply add the ingredients to the food processor while pulsing for a few seconds.
Voila! The cilantro chutney.
While cooking, Gabriel insisted that Tinkerbell (angora rabbit) and Franklin (guinea pig) come into the house.  They enjoyed the leftover carrots from the vegetable stock very much.
The yellow-lentil soup with cilantro chutney. 

I served the cilantro chutney on the side, leaving its application to the individual.  Around here, not everyone enjoys bold, strong and unusual flavors...yet anyway ;) 
Gabriel liked the soup.  Upon seeing that he was going to be served next, he let me know that he was quite happy about the soup/bread combo meal.  I set the food down and couldn't resist capturing this moment.

~Dinner Was Served~

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