This soup is described as spicy, but is actually quite sweet. I served it with a plain salad of bitter greens dressed with oil and vinegar, slices of salty feta cheese, some crusty bread and pickled lemons. The recipe for this soup was found at podular.net.
Rinse once cup of lentils in a sieve under cold running water. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook 2 cloves of crushed garlic and one large onion, chopped, over medium heat until it softens. Add 3 teaspoons of cumin, 2 teaspoons of coriander, 1 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric. Cook (stirring) for 30 seconds until it smells good. Add the lentils and mix until they're coated in the onion/spice/garlic mixture. Peel and chop one butternut pumpkin into small pieces and add it along with 7 cups of vegetable stock. (If you are not using vegetable stock, use water and add one carrot and one stalk of celery, both finely diced.) Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes or until lentils and pumpkin are soft. Use a potato masher to blend the soup. The lovely burnt orange color of this soup is the exact color of the flowers in Stangl's Bittersweet pattern. Can't you just picture it?
The Review :
Our panel of judges went to the test kitchens and came back with this report:
The Mister He said it was too sweet and that he didn't like it. When I pointed out to him that he had three full bowls, he said he would have had four if it wasn't so sweet.
The College Man He loved it. Not only did he have two big bowls full, but he asked for the recipe so he could
make it in the frat house kitchen. He thinks it would benefit from the addition of curry powder.
The Teen Queen She declined to participate.
The Cook I consider this a major success on all fronts. Easy and cheap and quick to make and nothing left-over! It's a keeper.