Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Also to do with the lentils

There are days, like today, when the sun is shining and the sky is an unbelievable shade of blue but the wind is blowing and the air is cold. Spring is trying its very hardest to make itself known, but winter is all, it's not your time yet, Spring, take your tulips and your maple buds and get out of here. Baseball is happening, and mulch is being spread on reawakening flower beds, but I had to wear my winter jacket today and as I write this my turtleneck is pulled up over my nose and that fleece blanket over there looks really good.

Know what else looks good?

Lentils. Cooked into a quick soup with cumin, coriander, spinach and a generous amount of bright lemon zest. Topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt flecked with fresh cilantro. Accompanied by a thick slice of homemade wheat bread. Eaten as the sun sets over what is hopefully one of the last cold days of the season.

OK, Husband just covered my legs with the fleece blanket. I feel much better already.

It has to do with the blanket, yes, but it also has to do with the lentils.


Adapted from Modern Classics Book 1, by Donna Hay

3 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 t. cumin
1 1/2 t. coriander
1 1/2 c. lentils
3 c. vegetable stock
4 c. water
1 T. finely-grated lemon zest, or more, should you wish
6 oz. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped

Place the olive oil, onion, shallot, cumin and coriander in a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onions are well-browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the lentils, stock, water and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. At this point, if you would like a thicker soup, puree half of the soup with an immersion or regular blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot, then add the spinach and cook a few minutes more. (You can omit the pureeing if you wish.)

Season with salt and pepper to taste, then ladle into mugs or bowls. Mix together the yogurt and cilantro; spoon the yogurt over the soup, crawl under your fleece blanket and enjoy.

P.S. Here is something yummy to do with the leftover Greek yogurt you just bought.

Serves 4.


mandy said...

oh man, greek yogurt? sold!

Laura said...

I made legumes today too and I agree the weather was one big fat lie just to get me outside. I am south of you but in Ohio and it was not too much better here, although we did end trying to fly a kite in that wind. Important word, TRIED. The wind nearly carried us all off! They promise another 10 degrees higher tomorrow so we shall see. Everyone on the west coast has been marveling at the heat so I figure it has to make its way here, right?

I love citrus and lentils, by the way.

Dianne said...

Mandy, it *is* all about Greek yogurt.

Laura, I think it's supposed to hit 80 tomorrow, at least here in northern Ohio. I hope it does, because I really want to move my tomato seedlings outside and this 40-degree wind just isn't cutting it!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Dianne, thanks so much for the shout-out. Don't you think your soup and my dessert make a perfect pair? I love the photo of the lemon zest -- beautiful perspective.

Dianne said...

Lydia, my pleasure! My soup and your dessert make quite a pair indeed!

And thanks for the compliments on that zest photo. It was just so pretty and yellow I couldn't resist....