Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lentil Soup with Mideastern Spices and Spinach

No big entry today. Here's the recipe for the soup I made for dinner. There was a ham bone in the freezer, so I made stock with that first, stripped the meat and will use it and the stock for split pea soup in a few days. The recipe called for three and a half cups of water, but at the end of the pressure cooking, there wasn't enough liquid, so I added a couple cups of chicken broth from the fridge. Before dinner, I'll reheat and add baby spinach right before serving.

This recipe should be enough for four nice-size servings.

Lentil Soup with Mideastern Spices and Spinach
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and small diced
1 Tbsp. finely minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 1/2cups water (needed to add more liquid after cooking)
3 medium carrots, peeled and small diced
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup raisins
1 tomato, seeded, grated on box grater, skin discarded
1tsp. sea salt, or to taste
juice from half a lemon
5 ounces baby spinach
feta cheese

Heat the oil in the cooker over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and cumin and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the lentils, allspice, cinnamon, carrots, bay leaf, raisins, tomato and salt; stir to blend.

Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure (I used low pressure). Adjust the heat to maintain high (low) pressure and cook for 10 (I did it for 25 minutes) minutes. Reduce pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Taste to determine the lentils are fully cooked. If not, cook over medium-high heat, until done, a few minutes more. (Here I needed to add more liquid.) Remove the bay leaf. Reseason with salt and add juice of half a lemon to brighten up the flavor. Stir in the spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted, stirring frequently, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately topped with crumbled feta.

No comments: