Monday, September 26, 2011

To appropriate by destruction

Sometimes I get an idea and inexplicably glom onto it like a hedgehog with a raspberry.

Like yesterday's lentil soup with caramelized onions, dates, porcini broth, and turmeric, over wild rice and arugula pilaf. I've had a note on my desktop for three weeks about this idea, not that it's particularly revolutionary. It just stuck.

Or tonight's pasta salad based on this recipe, minus the pomegranate seeds (I thought those were in season by now, but couldn't find them anywhere), plus a little cinnamon and cayenne.

Or opening a French restaurant for existentialists-in-denial called Mauvais Foie. It's going to happen one day, just you wait.

Lentil soup with dates and caramelized onions
2 onions
2 cups lentils
1/3 cup chopped dates
2 cloves garlic, chopped
turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms

Caramelize the onions at the bottom of a soup pot. Add the garlic and saute until it's toasted, but not burnt. Add the lentils, dates, porcini, and bay leaf, and add water or broth to cover by about two inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the lentils are cooked. Pick out the porcini insofar as is possible (I suppose you could wrap them up bouquet garni-style, but that's too fancy for me). Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until most, but not all, of the lentils have been liquefied. Add more water/broth or boil off liquid according to how thick you like the soup. Add turmeric, cayenne pepper, and salt to taste after adjusting the viscosity (sorry, bad term) of the soup.

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