April 13, 2005

Many Food Blogs and Two-Lentil Soup

There are an awful lot of food blogs out there. I didn't really look for them, before I started my own, so I had no idea the amount of information smog I was contributing to. I knew that blogging had become awfully popular, but I didn't realize how many amateur food writers there are out there. They range from the fascinating to the tedious to the downright ugly. Incoherent gibbering about restaurants to sly, sophisticated observations on cultural foibles. I've got my eye on a few of them, and may put up a link section in the future.

I made lentil soup for dinner tonight, as threatened. Most soups made with brown/green lentils suffer a little texturally, being a little too thin unless you purée at least half the finished amount. Since my decision to make soup was at least partially predicated on laziness, that sort of pre-empted any notions that would dirty up the food processor or blender. (Perhaps I need an immersion blender). I decided to go with two different lentil types, instead. Brown lentils and red lentils, to be precise.

I usually use red lentils to make Bengali Red Lentils a dish which is simmered for long enough that the lentils dissolve into a creamy mass. I decided that their tendency to self-purée could be put to good use in soup, as well, and I was right. I had mentally prepared myself for needing to get in there with the potato masher to squash them into compliance, if necessary, but it wasn't.

I was originally planning a very simple soup, just lentils and fresh vegetables, but one look in the fridge while fetching the carrots, celery and leek suggested otherwise. Countless little containers of things like mashed potato, diced ham, and a peeled yam (not to mention the red bell pepper that was languishing) and even a little leftover pizza sauce resulted in a thick, hearty but still healthy soup in the fine tradition of Heirloom Soup. Only enough leftover for lunch tomorrow, however.

I contemplated making biscuits to go with the soup, since they would be a fine match, and we were out of any other type of bread, but eventually decided on focaccia. Basically, I just used the herbed version of my pizza dough recipe, and allowed it to rise in the pan a little before spritzing with oil, sprinkling with salt, and baking for about 10 minutes. Dead easy, and healthier than the biscuits would have been.

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