Sunday, November 02, 2008

Humble Fare

Dear husband and I had some minor cross-cultural adjustments to make when we married. We are both Americans but I'm a West Coast girl and he hails from the Midwest and the East. Where I grew up a salad could be considered an entree, even if there were no meat in it. Same for soups. Dear husband, on the other hand, had never even tasted an avocado before he met me (aren't avocados better than meat??). Additionally, my wonderful mother-in-law, also a wonderful cook, was a Sunday-pot-roast-with-all-the-trimmings kind of woman. (I still can't compete, but I certainly have learned a lot from her!)

Through the years I've learned to cook enough dishes which don't prompt my husband to look at me with a longing "where's the beef" look in his eyes and he's learned to be satisfied with a few meatless dinners. Just a few. Below is a the recipe for a favorite soup which besides being quick to fix, tasty, and healthy, is very easy on an increasingly burdened grocery budget in these days of rising food prices.

Tomato, Lentil, and Cilantro Soup

1/4 cup canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. garam masala (Indian spice mixture)
red pepper flakes to taste
2 14 oz cans of chopped tomatoes, puree one can in the blender
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red (orange) lentils
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup-or more-chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a large pan, add onions, garlic, garam masala, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, stock, lentils, sugar, and cilantro, simmer, stirring, uncovered about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Serve with sour cream and chopped cilantro leaves. Of course, Dear Husband would prefer it served with a steak, but he'll settle for a grilled cheese sandwich.

"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it."
Proverbs 15:17


abu 'n um tulip said...

I was making a grocery list and thinking about what to make next took. Abu Tulip thinks this recipe looks good. Great thing is they are ingredients I can find here. Thanks. Um Tulip

desert mom said...

Hope you like it, Um Tulip. I'm feeling particularly ambitious in the kitchen this fall so check back from time to time for more recipes.

Anonymous said...

Yum-O! I just made this and it is soooo good; I can't stop eating it and I'm full!
Thanks for the sumptuous recipe!
Emily (Kinzi's friend!)