Nov 6, 2009

Lentil soup..with garlic and spinach

Last week I mentioned about a recipe that I had been fantasizing about while making two dishes. Finally that has materialized. And I must say, life would have been sweet if reality mimicked fantasy that well :) The dish turned out exactly the way I thought it would. Or did it turn out that way it did...because I imagined it would?..

Eww..sorry for the stab at Lewis Carol bit of counter logic. True is, the recipe did turn out well. Enough to be able to share it on the blogspot. And it sure enough is totally mine. From the Scratch. No adaptation involved :)

To give you a bit of background. This is a lentil dish. Traditionally very vegetarian in its approach.  Slightly sweet and spicy. What's the word? -- ahh savory. And it would be a sacrilege to tie anything remotely un-vegetarian to it in India, particularly in west bengal where Garlic and onion qualify as un-vegetarian because of the their association with meat/ chicken dishes. Poor poor Garlic. Perfectly vegan..yet un-vegetarian :) Notice the term too. Un-ve-ge-ta-rian. That's what I have coined. Just to be a little more sympathetic to the herb of my choice-- garlic.

So here, I made this lentil soup with garlic and spinach. Three things nobody will ever consider, together. But guess what.. it is lovely. And that is why I think any dish, which can be mixed in, or added upon with almost anything else and tastes great.. is so so very dynamic.  Garlic spinach is one such dish. I mean you cannot go wrong with three flavorful things right?

So here it is


1 cup of lentil. I use yellow lentil. But sure as hell you can use any. Just soak it overnite of you are using the regular one from grocery stores.

6 cups of water. Be prepared to add more if things dry out while making this dish
1 tbsf olive oil

1 big bunch of baby spinach. You can use regular spinach and chop it up coarsely.
A handful of pea- frozen or otherwise. Optional. If using frozen, thaw it by soaking in water for 30 minutes before using
1 medium size tomato- optional. Chopped up wit the seeds scooped out

2 cloves of garlic. You can decide on this one. Its totally up to you to chose based on your garlic fondness.

Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning

There is nothing much to do-- really.

Wash the lentils throughly and place in a pot and add 4.5 cups of water. Boil till the lentils are soft. Takes anything between 15-20 minutes depending on the type of lentil you are using. Add water if you see it drying out.

In a skillet, heat the oil and once hot, add the crushed garlic. The um um.
Fry for 10 secs, and then add the baby spinach, tomato and pea ( if you are using them) and wait for the spinach to wilt down. Give everything one big stir. Add the boiled lentils along with any water you have in that pot. Add another 1.5 cups of water, stir and wait for everything to reach a boil.  Once it starts boiling, season with salt and pepper and take it off the stove.

Your lovely garlicky, lentil soup ready to be served.

You can have it just by itself or with bread or ladle it over a  warm bowl of rice. It will throw you off. It is so tasty.

Happy eating and healthy living


The Japanese Redneck said...

Hey JW, that sure looks good.

Nat said...

giggles....! : ) ...Thats so funny J..."UN-Vegetarian" !

Will you believe me if I tell you I have been thinking of making a good lentil soup for my big girl?...well I think it is a brillaint brillaint way to feed fussy little eaters a whole bunch of the good stuff. J...the soup looks amazing....and sounds amazing. Did you read my mind now ? : ) ... This is another KEEPER in my book !...Thanks Babe ...!

PS : I topped the cup cake liners 3/4 of the way...but also added a bit extra baking I like it to PUFF up and crack on the top...just makes em prettier ; )

Palidor said...

How interesting... never would have classified garlic as unvegetarian! The dal looks delicious! That is exactly how I love my dal - with lots of garlic! :-)

girlichef said...

Oh man, you can't go wrong with garlicky anything!! This sounds perfect :D

the ungourmet said...

What a nice lentil soup. I am a huge garlic fan and I love spinach too, especially added into soup. This looks warm and satisfying.

Olive said...

I love the smell of garlic too as it cooks...your lentil soup sure looks delicious!

buffalodick said...

Never worked with lentils(believe it or not!) I'll have to try soon..

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour! this recipe looks delicious, I'll give it a try this week. Thank you for stopping by my blog and your kind comment. I'll be back soon for some more recipe ideas.

Anncoo said...

Sounds great and delicious :D

Erica said...

This looks delicious!So hearty and flavorful! thanks for a beautiful done soup recipe :)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Wow, I had no idea that garlic and onions would be shunned as too closely related to animals.
I wouldn't want to live in a world without garlic and onions!
The soup looks wonderful - the Greeks actually make a similar soup with the addition of parsley and lemon juice.

Ashley said...

This looks simple, healthy and delicious! I love it :)

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I was confused about which vegetarians don't eat garlic as there seem to be so many types of them in the western hemisphere. One of my vegetarian friends doesn't like vegetables. I have this feeling his food habits are just an eating disorder or some sort!

Jhonny walker said...

@ Natashya: I would never go a world like That. NEVER EVER. I had this greek soup once. Strange it never hit me that the greek was similar. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

@ Murasaki: I agree..its totaly a mental disorder :)

Sanjana said...

This looks awesome! Some Hindu vegetarians like Swaminarayans and also Hare Krishnas do not eat garlic and onions because they are said to be stimulants and they prefer to keep totally clear minds- I'm not sure as to what extent it stimulates brain cells though! They tend to replace garlic and onions with a spice called asafoetida (hing) which has a similar taste but is made of a type of gum. Lol, I'll shut up now.. The soup looks great, something I'd defo go for!