Calcutta Curry Soup

April 5th, 2016 8 Comments

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Red Lentils—one of the most colorful legumes around.  They’re nutritious, delicious and they cook fast if you need some quick protein in a meal.  Check out World’s Healthiest Foods for an afternoon read on these adorable orange delights.  They’re best if rinsed numerous times before cooking: pour water into a bowl with the lentils, stir and swish everything around, then drain and repeat a few times until the water is mostly clear.  Rinsing will help remove the dust as well as the residual starch.

 

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This was another soup from the Deli days.  The now not-so-secret ingredient is star anise, an idea totally swiped from a lentil soup once made by my friend and chef Phillip Becht during our Loring Café days in Minneapolis during the 1990’s.  Sometimes all you need is the idea of an ingredient to take it down another path.  Thanks, Phil.

 

In the Deli we would make our own signs to hang in the self-serve area, and for this soup I knew it needed an elephant on the sign.  I researched (this was before super easy-access internet days!) Asian elephants and found they have much smaller ears than their African counterparts.  I then spent a ridiculous amount of time drawing anatomically correct ears on the little elephant in the soup sign.  Hopefully no elephants were offended in the making of this project.

 

 

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Shameless attempts at luring internet readers by including photos of CATS?  Hmm, interesting thought.

 

 

One could also make this soup thick by using a little less water and serve it as a dal with Basmati rice, a dollop of yogurt on top wouldn’t be bad either.

 

Calcutta Curry Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 90 minutes

 

Sauté lightly in a soup pot:

1 Onion, diced

3-4 stalks Celery, diced

3 cups Carrots, diced

Oil of your choice

After a few minutes add:

7 cups Water

1 pound Red Lentils (about 2 cups), well rinsed and checked for stones

2 cups Potatoes, diced

1 cup Squash, cubed

1 – 2 teaspoons Sea Salt

Simmer on low heat for about an hour.

Stir often because red lentils can easily scorch. Remove white foam that may collect on the top. 

Then add: 

2 teaspoons Rice Vinegar

2 teaspoons Curry Powder

1 teaspoon Fennel Seed, whole

1 teaspoon Star Anise, ground—I use a coffee grinder

1 teaspoon Cumin

3 cloves Garlic, minced

Black Pepper to taste

Simmer another 30 minutes with the spices. 

Taste and adjust, especially water and salt. 

Serve as is, or puree in a food process for a smoother texture. 

Before serving add:

Fresh Parsley, chopped

 

 

My most recent Morning Pages notebook that is ALMOST full….this marks Week 340.

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8 Comments

  1. Norma Hervey says:

    Looks like great soup, tasty and attractive. EU, I hope to see you in a few months – you look as healthy as ever, also as inquisitive!!

  2. Alice says:

    What?! No picture of the elephant sign? :)

    • Ruth says:

      That was from the late 1990’s and it no longer exists that I know of. Maybe in archives somewhere in a bunker below ground…

  3. Betsy Hilgendorf says:

    That does sound yummy! I’ll have to try it before soup season comes to an end.

  4. Coleen says:

    I think you should have drawn another elephant for us, your blog readers! The soup looks delicious, star anise and cumin, how can you go wrong there? I am off to find some similar soups on my next adventure. Love the picture of Euoo (even if I don’t know how to spell his name).

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