Our snow day proved to be filled with all sorts of warm and cozy yesterday, with the snow day muffins starting the morning on a high note in all their cinnamon glory, followed by an evening of om-nom-nom-inducing soup that warmed us from the inside out. Nothing beats snow days and cozy nights. We should live in Alaska.
This lentil ginger soup from the New York Times Essential Cookbook caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it uses lentils, an ingredient I’ve been meaning to try out for years but hadn’t gotten around to. And second, it called for fresh ginger and balsamic vinegar, which I love, love, love in almost any setting.
Once you’re done with the prep work for this soup (rinsing the lentils and chopping or grating the onions, carrots, garlic and ginger), it’s pretty much just a matter of assembling everything together in one big pot, which sounds just about perfect after a busy day of work. Or playing in the snow.
Fern Bergman’s Ginger and Lentil Soup
From the New York Times Essential Cookbook (Amanda Hesser, p. 139)
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 ½ to 2 cups)
• 3 to 6 garlic cloves (We used 6; Dracula, watch out.)
• 3 to 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or diced
• 3 2/3 cups water
• 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and diced
• 1 pound brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
• 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (We used chicken for the richer flavor, but vegetable would be nice, too.)
• Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Balsamic vinegar
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger, and sauté until translucent (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add 2/3 cup water and diced carrots, and simmer for about a minute.
Stir in the lentils, broth and remaining water. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring often. When lentils are cooked and the soup has the consistency of porridge, remove from heat.
Stir in salt, pepper and dashes of balsamic vinegar to taste.
This is soup has lots of great flavors going on and is a super healthy choice to boot. And because it’s so healthy, you can eat a gigantic bowl of it without feeling terrible afterward (this was Jared’s observation, an apt one, no doubt).
Ooo! And I also discovered a magical thing about ginger while making this soup yesterday. You know how after chopping onions, you’re left with onion-y smelling hands that you can’t seem to shake? Ugh, I know. So here’s a handy (bahaha!) trick: Grate some fresh ginger after handling onions, and you’ll be good to go. Seriously, the citrus-y smell of the ginger completely overtakes the onion and leaves your hands fresh and clean. Score!
Do you have a favorite soup that warms you up when it’s cold outside? Any favorite lentil-using recipes that you’d like to share? And on a completely unrelated note, has anyone built a snowman or snowwoman yet?