smoky lentil soup

Friday, July 22, 2011

I am bowled over by all the nice responses about the first Runyon Canyon video! Thanks, everyone, so much. I'm having the most fun making them and to give people a giggle makes my heart sing.  

I can't believe how empowering it is to make stuff. This blog has been that for me since I created it last fall. It gives me so much joy. After writing and cooking and snapping and shaping something I'm proud of, I still (116 posts in!) feel elation whenever I press PUBLISH at the fact that no one has the power to call me and tell me I can't do it. Or that I did a great job but they're gonna go with the brunette.  

This acting business can be kinda lonely. It ebbs and flows and often one (even with lots of credits and good representation) can go long stretches without so much as an audition. It sucks.

So to grab the reins and make little movies!? And write and sing and direct and learn how to edit them? And laugh my ass off throughout the process? Bliss!

I can't wait to release the second installment on Monday.

In the meantime, how about a nice bowl of soup? I know I've been into the soup lately and we're in the thick of summer but did you know that if you eat spicy things it'll make you sweat? Which with thereby cool you off? Bonus!

This started as a standard lentil soup recipe with some chili added. I upped the smokiness with the cumin and fire-roasted tomatoes and added the kale to sneak some greens in there.

Oh, and garlic city...

If you thinks this looks rad just wait until you smell it sauteing...

Smoky Lentil Soup
(loosely adapted from Bill Granger's Sydney Food Cookbook)
serves 8

4T butter
2T olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup sliced leeks, white part only (about 2 large leeks)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 small red jalapeno peppers (or spicier chilis if desired), seeded and minced
2T ground cumin
2 quarts vegetable stock
2 14oz cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (use the juice in there too)
1 cup dried lentils
4T minced fresh oregano
4 bay leaves
1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
sea salt and pepper

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the carrots, onion and leek til soft, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, chile and cumin and saute 5 minutes more. Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, oregano and bay and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add the kale and simmer for 15 minutes more. Taste to make sure the lentils are tender and if not, simmer until they are. It should be done between 30-60 minutes (if your lentils are older it'll take longer). Season the soup with salt after the lentils are tender (as it can make them tough), add the parsley to heat through and serve with a drizzle of good olive oil and/or parmesan cheese.


P.S.  Mom's pooch Murph was my cooking buddy:

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