Not the best start to my year, is it? But this is what happens in real life.. some days you get to ditch your husband and 2 year old and go play grown up at JAROblue for a couple hours while your friend is in town from St. Louis.
Fortunately I already made that curried yam & red lentil soup, which Mike and Willem are devouring now with some chewy, crusty bread I baked this morning. The no-knead stuff, naturally, which I will post again someday when this site is properly up and running.
As I mentioned yesterday, Nigel Slater intended this soup to be made with a fresh pumpkin, flavored with chilies and turmeric, and topped with onions sauteed with a few more chilies. His photo is astronomically more appealing than mine, but this is what I’ve got. For the next few months, the fact that it’s pitch-dark at dinnertime is not going to bode well with my need to photograph food.
Curried Yam & Red Lentil Soup
Canola or olive oil, for cooking with
1 onion, chopped
a few cloves of garlic, smushed
a good grating of fresh ginger
2 handfuls of dried red lentils
1 medium yam, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small spoonful of curry paste – powder would work too
a few glugs of half & half
In a medium pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger in a drizzle of oil for a few minutes, until the onion softens. Add the lentils, yam, curry paste, salt to taste and about 1 1/2 litres of water (that’s 6 cups), or chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for half an hour or so, until the yam chunks are very tender.
Add as much half & half (or 2%, or evaporated milk, or even heavy cream) as you like, and use a hand-held immersion blender right in the pot to puree it. Taste and adjust seasonings if it needs it. Serve right away, or keep it in the fridge (or the barbeque) for up to a week to reheat when you want it.