Saskatchewan Menu of the Week – 27 March 2006
Breakfast – Yogurt with cherries
Lunch – Leftover homemade pizza
Dinner – Spicy Lentil Soup
SPICY LENTIL SOUP
Nothing chases away the end of winter like a cracking fire and a pot of soup! I used lentils from the Cerridwen Farm at Medstead, wild rice from La Ronge, and tomatoes from my own garden (frozen last fall). I also used my own paprika (which I made by grinding several hot Hungarian peppers) and coriander seeds. The lemon peel isn’t from Saskatchewan, of course, but I pickled it myself.
2 cups crimson lentils
1 cup wild rice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 stalk celery, cut into a small dice
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into a small dice
10 roma tomatoes (thawed and peeled)
3 tbsp. tomato paste
several cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. crushed coriander seeds
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
10 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 piece pickled lemon peel (or fresh peel) - optional
fresh chopped cilantro
Rinse the lentils and wild rice. Soak covered in water for one hour. Drain.
Heat the oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Sauté the onions, celery and carrots. When they are soft, add the garlic, tomatoes and tomato paste. Cook lightly, stirring, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices: paprika, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Add the drained lentils and wild rice. Cook, stirring, as the grains soak up the liquid and absorb the flavour of the spices. When the grains are hot and starting to stick to the pot, add the liquid. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer until the grains are cooked, about 45 minutes.
Before serving, remove the lemon peel and add more spices as necessary to create the level heat that you like. Ladle soup into bowls, top with a dollop of plain yogurt and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.