dec. 3, 2010: received a useful gift in my inbox today from my alma mater: a red lentil recipe. it sounded good, and all i had to do was buy some celery (with the leaves still on) and the lentils since we had all the other ingredients.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
8 cups vegetable stock (i used chicken broth, including 2 cups of chicken broth i made myself)
1 3/4 cups dried red lentils
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves (or more, if you have it)
1/2 tsp red chile pepper flakes (less if you don't like spicy food, more if you do!) (i only used a 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (i added this as i ate the soup)
Salt and pepper to taste (i didn't add either one)
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the vegetable stock, lentils, carrots, celery leaves, and red chile pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Stir occasionally. (it took about 45 minutes on our stove for all the lentils to cook through.)
Once the lentils are cooked, add the lemon juice. Mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup with lemon wedges.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.