indian spices to warm that dead cold winter belly: from the kitchen's fragrant spiced indian vegetable and lentil soup
Why am I not making soup say, every third night? Especially now, when I have butternut from the garden starting to turn, a surplus of root veggies from the SFF, and a deep, almost desperate need for warm, sustaining, healthy meals?
At least From the Kitchen generously provided the inspiration for one soup this week: Fragrant Spiced Indian Vegetable and Lentil Soup. Even a cobbled together lentil soup is enthusiastically welcomed around here, but when I saw this recipe and that it used some veggies I had ready to go, I was determined to follow it to the letter. Cumin and mustard seeds, garam masala, turmeric, and curry powder, stand for a solid base.
I might've deviated a bit, in the form of adding even more fresh ginger than suggested, because you can't go too far wrong with fresh ginger. From the Kitchen builds this soup carefully, with attention to details that are vitally important, especially to a vegetarian recipe: a number of spices, whole when possible and fresh when possible, a sliver of butter start the spices warming up, the acidity of the tomato paste and lime countered by some honeyed sweetness.
I went out of my way to pick up some red lentils, as opposed to my preferred standard, french green lentils, as the recipe definitely benefits from this sort. I haven't done a whole lot of Indian cooking yet, and this recipe made me feel both confident that I can learn the tastiest way to build such dishes, and also certain that this culinary culture is worth exploring further.
I will absolutely pin this recipe as one I will make again but with one alteration: the spices, lentils, and probably the pumpkin do need to simmer for the recommended time. But as to the sweet potato, the regular potato, and the carrots, next time I will hold off and add them about twenty minutes before the end. It's really a matter of preference here, but we prefer these veggies to be more firm so that we can appreciate them more in their own right, as opposed to being a more blended, mushy texture. Also, the lentils and the starchiness of the root vegetables created a substantial enough broth that I didn't blend any of the soup.