Sunday, November 1, 2009

complicated lentil soup

How much is Philadelphia? When is jar? How long have you been wearing log cabin?

These are some of the things I've been hearing lately, and I don't understand them. I hover above a pot of soup and I hear things like, "where is hot?" and "why is Cleveland?" and I wonder about my neighbors, about what goes on in their weirdo minds. The walls are so thin. It's not that hard to hear them.

Last night was Halloween, in case you didn't know. This is some complicated lentil soup I made. We'll call it "compy lents" or something like that. It doesn't look complicated, which is why it IS complicated. Looks can be deceiving. Where is koko?

OK, enough of that. Here's what's involved:

I started with beef stock. I used a bone, probably from the shin, a good, fatty bone and some mire poix, i.e. 2 part onion, one part carrot, one part celery. I made the stock, chilled it, and then skimmed the congealed fat off the top and reserved the fat. Then I strained the stock and reduced it a bit more.

Welcome back congealed fat. Now it is your turn to be dumped into bottom of my biggest soup pot. Hello small dice or brunoise of carrot. i.e. lightly caramelize carrot in pure beef fat (pbf).

Once caramelization has begun to occur, it is time for powdered spice dumping time: into the fatty mixture (which I extended with some EVOO) go the garam marsala (tiny bit) and madras curry powder. Out comes wooden spoon to keep stuff moving around (to avoid burning spice). Then, once the fatty mixture and the spices have had some time to get accquainted, several big dollops of tomato paste, and yes, the old cooker-roo of the paste until it's rust-a-rooni-o. Got it?

Then the strained stock, then the lentils. Then boil the hell out of it and add more liquid as the liquid evaps. (Are you getting this?) If you want to cook the lentils until they fall apart, go for it. It'd be good. I didn't. Then, at the very end, season with salt, and squeeze lemon juice into the soup. How much? Use your tongue to figure that out. It comes pre-equipped with taste buds. Oh, btw people, if you aren't using your tongue to figure out how to cook, what's wrong with you?

Anyway, that's pretty much the complicated lentil soup. I was going for this Indian soup some cook invented for an important British dude, and I pretty much got it on the nose (not the soup), but I have no idea what the soup's called, only it's taste. Thanks, tongue. When is Massachusetts?

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