Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Time for Soup

This has been the craziest summer. Technically, even though we have started school, it's still summer. But this weather sure feels like autumn. It has been chilly here, especially in the mornings. In typical Minnesota fashion, I used my heater in the van yesterday morning, then used my air conditioning in the afternoon. The kids came home yelling at me because I made them wear pants to school and it got too warm.

So last night I was in the mood for soup because I love it and I haven't made any for a few months. I made one of my faves, a curried lentil couscous soup. I found this recipe somewhere online and changed it a little and added some chopped up kale. I love how it adds color (and nutrition) to the soup. For the couscous I used the Israeli variety because I really like those little round circles of pasta. The measurements are hard for me, because I pretty much eyeball the spices. I also had to add quite a bit of water after the lentils cooked, so then I just dumped in some more spices.

Soup is really easy to make, is filling and comforting, and can be full of nutrition. Lentils are one of my favorite ways to get protein; they are just so yummy and versatile. And anything with curry powder and cumin is going to fill my house with one of my favorite aromas as well. I made a LOT of soup, and I'm the only one eating it (unfortunately), so I may freeze some and see how that works out.

Curried Lentil and Couscous Soup

2 cups lentils, rinsed
8 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup carrots, sliced or chopped
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup couscous
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp paprika
2 or more tsp madras curry powder, depending on your tastes
1/2 tsp turmeric (no big deal if you don't have this)
1/2 tsp cumin
1-2 cups chopped kale (or any other greens)
salt to taste

Saute carrots, onions and garlic in some olive oil until tender. Add water or broth, bring to a boil. Add the lentils, couscous and spices and simmer for about a half hour or so (I really don't know, I didn't time it, just watch for the lentils and couscous to get done). Add more water if necessary. Add the kale and stir around, cooking until kale is wilted. Serve with some bread and fresh fruit and it's a perfect meal for a cool night. I put a bowl of strawberries on the table and the kids and I ate them all up with our soup.

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