I finally hit upon a recipe that I like. The boys, not so much, but they are barbarians. It has been raining cats and dogs for a whole week straight (you may have heard of the flooding in downtown Atlanta) and it's been wet and cool - perfect soup weather. Wouldn't you know, yesterday the sun came out and it was decidedly NOT soup weather any more!
Okay, first on to the lentils. Our Krogers has revamped it's store and put all the organic/health foods in it's own section. Plus they've added bulk bins. (I wish the bins had grains, but that's probably wishing for too much) So I bought a few scoops of the most interesting thing I saw - red lentils. Have you seen these things?? Here's a picture:
Aren't they beautiful? I've only made lentils one other time and wasn't wild about the bay leaf in it. I'm not a bay leaf kind of person. This recipe does not call for any bay leaves! Hooray!
I got the recipe online, I can't find the exact blog that convinced me to make it, but everyone (it seems) who does the Red Lentil Soup with Lemon online refers to the same new york times recipe that I also used. Notice that the lentils turn yellowish. The little orange specks are carrots. It said to blend half the soup, but I just stuck my immersion blender in the pot and didn't have any chunks left after that! (I would have liked chunks, but it's good this way too) I did not put any olive oil on top - there was enough oil in the soup. I did not sprinkle on more chili powder. I did stir in the cilantro (although I think the original recipe calls for mint?) The cilantro has a strong presence. (I love cilantro) I think it could have benefitted with a little more lemon. Maybe my lemon was too small or dry. But I think the soup was lovely.
I couldn't remember if you were supposed to rinse the lentils beforehand, so I did quickly, and when I went to dump them in the soup, they all stuck together! I think they were afraid! But they broke up quickly as I stirred them. Another recipe note, I opted for chicken stock. So I'm not sure how it would taste with vegetable stock.
The next picture is an experiment. I saw a bag of TVP in the same health food section of Kroger and wanted to try it. So I went to my favorite vegan blog Vegan Dad and found a hot dog chili recipe using TVP. In the picture above you can see I grilled hotdogs and asked Gary to try at least a little bit on his dog. (I went out last night so I didn't eat any hotdogs) He asked if there was any orange in it. No, no orange. But he must be thinking that because some of the spices in this stuff are the same that go into Russian Tea. Allspice, cloves, cinnamon. Yeah. Weird. Below is a picture of the end result. The texture didn't bother Gary at all. So I think if I can get a recipe that is actually similar to a chili dog sauce, then it'd be worth trying again. I'm definitely going to try other TVP recipes!