Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sorry about the late post. I have about a hundred excuses, but I think I'd best leave them at the door.

Tonight, I cooked a red lentil soup. I got the recipe out of a nutrition magazine. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about one key facet of "nutritious" cuisine--the lack of salt. This isn't always a bad thing. It was tonight. Apparently, in red lentil soup, a lack of salt leads to a bland, albeit nutty, flavor. Ugh.

I had to improvise. I asked my parents what was missing. My dad said potatoes while my mom said sausage. With the help of my mini food processor, I threw both into the mix. My first thought as to the missing ingredient: cheese. My second thought was corn. I decided not to add the latter, instead opting to add some white aged cheddar and garlic.

I threw in garam masala! I threw in salt! I threw in more onions than the recipe suggested!

When I began, the clock read 5:30. It now read 7:20. I stared at the soup long and hard. By this point, my tongue was burnt and my taste buds had lost any ability to discern subtle changes in the soup's flavor. It was time to let my baby go and to heck with the consequences.

"Soup's up!"

Thankfully, my toiling paid off. The soup was delicious. We paired it with some homemade bread--lightly sweet and fluffy--and ate it lukewarm. The broth had turned green from the spinach; the nutty flavor of the red lentils was still apparent, but less overbearing. I was amazed by the transformation of the lentils. In the beginning, they were little orange disks, tiny and beadlike. After a long simmer, they had broken into crystalline shards. It was culinary magic.

The kitchen still smells like curry powder.

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