Monday, June 30, 2008

Apartment Soup v.1

First some exciting news:
I have moved to Vancouver! Woo-hoo! I have always had an admiration for this city, and I am so happy to finally be living here! I love it so much, except for one factor.
The heat.

I've been here a little over a week and every day it has been sunny, hot, and muggy. Not at all what I expected from a city in the pacific northwest that is known for rain and overcast skies! I love the rain, and have been very sad that I have not had any to enjoy. There has only been one overcast day so far, and it only sprinkled then.

But through all this heat I am craving one thing and one thing only. SOUP! Why? My only guess is that maybe I am trying to make my new apartment and my new city feel "homey" and I guess soup does that for me? I don't know any other reason why making soup in almost 30 degree weather seems like a good idea.

But alas, since I moved in a little over a week ago, all I could think of was making a big pot of lentil soup. It's just something I had to do. So on my first (and so far, only) overcast rainy day last week, I decided to take a walk to Granville Island to check out the farmers market. I ended up with a pretty bounty of fresh and cheap vegetables, all begging to be put in a soup.

So with a combonation of farmers market loot, and some kitchen staples I bought at a swanky Save-On downtown, my first Apartment Soup was born.

mmm, soup

My biggest problem with making this soup was only one thing-I have no blender! As I was doing my apartment shopping back in Alberta, I kept telling myself I have no need for a blender. I told myself, "It's just so big and bulky, and all i'd need it for is to make smoothies, which I can do much easier in my Magic Bullet." Of course the one thing that a blender is good for that a bullet isn't would be BLENDING SOUPS. I stupidly realized this when I really wanted this soup blended, and so in a haze of hunger and impatience did a few quick blitz of the soup serving by serving in my magic bullet. It was a bit scary, since the bullet is plastic and I had hot soup in a little container. But all turned out fine. There were a few remaining chunks as seen in the picture, but that's okay since it adds more of a rustic feel.
The point of all this is that if you have a blender, feel free to chop the peppers and veg to any size you like. If you are like me and are sans-blender, I'd reccomend chopping them very small, unless you like big chunks in your soup.

Red Lentil, Pepper, and Kale soup.

1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 small yellow pepper, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp curry power
1 tsp paprika
a few generous cracks of black pepper
1 tsp salt
16 oz can of chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 cup of water
1 1/2 cups red lentils
1/2 bunch of kale (no idea how to measure this really, just throw in a few handfuls.)
hot sauce (optional)

Finely chop the onion and add to a medium sized pot with the olive oil. After the onions begin to soften*, add the salt, pepper and spices. After about a min, add the red and yellow peppers and a little more olive oil if needed. Add the canned tomatoes, water, and lentils. Cover over medium heat about 20 mins, or until lentils are ready. Chop up the kale, and throw into the soup during the last few mins. Blend if desired. For added heat, add a few squirts of hot sauce.

I have made this soup similar to this in the past with all different sorts of veggies added-carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. Feel free to play around with what goes in here.

*A lot of lentil soup recipes advise to put a tbsp or so of tomato paste in this step. I would be all for it if i could get my hands on tomato paste in a tube. But since I cannot, and I have no other use for a can of tomato paste, I omit this step.


eatme_delicious said...

The weather has been quite warm recently (some days way too hot) but don't you worry, many rainy and cold days will come!

Anonymous said...

Kale is getting more reviews in the UK as a superfood. My husband has some bad memories of old, string, tough Kale but we can get better stuff now. This recipe will be the perfect compromise. Red lentil soup with curry powder is/was popular in Cairo.
Have you thought of getting a hand blender? We use one (Braun) for most soups.
Also, have you tried organic rapeseed oil? it has all the properties of olive oil.