Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lentil "Soup" and an Argument for Gen Ed Req's *

The Recipelentil soup as found on the back of a Ziyad Red Lentils package.
  • prep time: 40 minutes
  • very healthy! Nutrition facts on bag of lentils say for 1/4 cup, there is no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium, but you get 28% of your dietary fiber! Happy pooping.
  • Serves 6 supposedly
2 c. Ziyad Red Lentils
8 c. water or broth
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. turmeric or paprika
1 large onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 bouillon cube of choice (optional)

1. Wash lentils. Combine with broth and bring to a boil. Cover for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. When lentils are tender, add dry spices and bouillon (optional) to the pot.
3. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Then add to soup mixture.
4. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat, add lemon juice and stir. Ladle soup into bowls.
5. Garnish with parsley and paprika. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

The Scrumptious Evidence

A gluten-free glutton and her glutenous glutton sharing some dessert

My Take on the Bake
I was surprised the recipe was called lentil "soup." It was more like a stew or a mushy pot of goodness. I couldn't even see the lentils at all, just their creamy remains. And it doesn't serve 6 people - it barely served the 5 people I was with plus salad as a whole dinner. I would recommend this dish for a group of 4 diners. It was very tasty and had a nice thick and creamy texture to it. I did, however, need to add a little pepper to spice it up a bit. My step-dad, who adds hot sauce to everything, said it was good and then added hot sauce, as well as my boyfriend. I prefer mild but flavorful dishes, but if you prefer spice I would definitely add some to this dish.

Cooks should relish their General Education requirements
As for the directions, I wish a scientist had written them. Or at least someone who was required to take a laboratory course or one of Dawson's classes at Oberlin College. I know it is said that cooking is more of an art than a science, but by including directions, producers of cookbooks and products with recipes on the back insert science into the cooking process. I am trained to follow step-by-step directions, but the order of some of the steps in this recipe is confusing. For instance, in Step 2, I am told to add spices to the pot when the lentils are tender. They felt tender enough after two minutes, yet did the writers of the recipe really intend for me to add spices in the first 2 minutes of a 30 minute window? In step 3, does it matter when I add the sauteed mixture? Possibly it doesn't, but I think the cook should have specified either when to add it or to add it anytime. And in step 4, do I simmer the soup for 5 minutes and then turn the heat off, or turn the heat off as a way to let it simmer? 

When I asked my Mom some of these questions, she made a few guesses and then reminded me that the dish would probably turn out fine in the end no matter how I interpreted these directions. In conclusion, I request recipe writers to be more clear, while on the other hand I am learning to let go of my anal analyses and enjoy whatever food comes out of the kitchen

*This is actually dinner from Thursday, Jan. 6.

No comments:

Post a Comment