First of all I have to say – sorry for the picture! It´s very hard to take pretty pictures of soup unless you have a good camera and good surroundings/lighting – I have none of that! 😀
Better move on to the recipe!
First sautee half of a bigger onion, chopped into half moons, on some olive oil, with a pinch of salt to bring out juices and sweetness. Then add cubed carrot (one bigger carrot should be enough for two people I am guessing) and sautee for a bit longer. Add half a teaspoon of ground coriander, half a teaspoon of ground cumin and some more salt, stir for a minute. Rinse half a cup of red lentils (I also first soak mine for a couple of hours and discard the soaking water) and add to the pot with vegetables. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup until the lentils are soft, usually red lentils totally desintegrate! 😀 Towards the end I added three cloves of garlic, pressed in a garlic press, and simmered only shortly so that the garlic flavour is distinct, but if you like milder garlic flavour, add the garlic already at the beginning, use less of it or cook it longer at the end… Blend the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender to get a creamy smooth consistency. Serve drizzled with a little bit of olive oil.
Filed under Recipes, Soups
I reeeally love millet made into a pilaf, I rarely use millet as a simple sidedish grain as it tends to be a bit too boring on its own. Unless it´s sweet millet, the sticky variety with larger grains, that one I truly love, especially with chunks of pumpkin 😀
For the pilaf I first dry roast the millet for a few minutes until it releases a nutty flavour and gets a deeper golden color (first wash it thoroughly in a strainer though to get rid of the millet´s natural bitterness!), then I add the prepared veggies – in this case chunks of carrot and burdock root, plus chopped up garlic and a generous amount of sesame seeds. On a separate pan I sautee (on a teeny bit of olive oil) coarsely sliced (into squares or rectangles) pointed cabbage, red cabbage and leek, seasoned with cumin and grounded coriander. When the millet with the veggies are both a bit roasted, I add water (1:3 grain:water), cover with a lid and simmer at least 20 minutes. It´s good to let the millet rest under the lid after it´s off the flame, for a few minutes, so it can soak up the remaining water and unstick from the bottom of the pot. Then you can mix in the oil-sauteed vegetables, and if you want, you can add dry roasted almonds, or rucola (arugula) or chopped fresh parsley or all (like I did) 😀
So….last weekend I found the first fresh “boerenkool” of this season (kale in Dutch) on the market, to be exact, at the Nieuwmarkt Saturday organic market. I was waiting for it impatiently for weeks, knowing that it will only make its appearance earliest in September. Everybody was assuring me that it is, indeed, a winter vegetable, which is true. But you CAN already get it now, at the end of summer.
I admit I got the frozen one a few weeks ago, and made a delicious sidedish out of it, sautéeing it with minced garlic, onions, black pepper, oregano and basil. This time I desired to make kale chips, which are a popular snack in the US. I found the basic recipe online: all you do is tear up the kale into smaller pieces, get rid of the thick stems, mix the pieces with olive oil and salt and then bake in the oven until crispy. Sounds easy, BUT I managed to screw it up :-p Too much oil, way too much salt, but most importantly – we don´t own a proper oven at the moment. Our mini-oven has no choice of temperature and it tends to burn things…so my chips were either on the raw side or on the nearly-burnt side 😦 Well, I am not giving up on them yet!
However, today I just blanched two big kale leaves with a few grains of salt and maybe an inch of water in the bottom of the pot, for 5-10 minutes. A bit too raw for my taste – next time cook longer. I served it with my number one tahini dressing, based on the ume-tahini dressing from Susan Marque´s cookbooks. Mix:
1 teaspoon umepaste
2 teaspoons tahini
some water to thin
This time I chose to add a bit of chopped up fresh coriander leaves, because they ummm…needed to go :-p
As for grain and protein (:-D) I cooked up brown rice (the Dutch “zilvervliesrijst” – I assume it is short-grain brown rice) in the same pot with a special sort of lentils that are called “berglinsen” (from the German Alnatura brand, they look like something between red and brown lentils). Seasoned with a splash of tamari. Yum!