I don’t know about other locations, but Spring is finally in the air in Ohio. I was chatting to Lynnette last week and she said every day she’s going out and checking her herb garden to see if there’s fresh mint coming up yet. Me too. We have some healthy patches of chives visible, but no mint yet. Still, even though the days are getting warmer, the nights are still cool and it’s nice to have a big pot of soup handy to enjoy with lunch or dinner. While we serve small portions of soup as a starter course for our dinners at the inn, this particular one is quite hearty, and paired with a nice salad and some wonderful bread would make a great weeknight dinner for a busy family. One of the things I love about making soups is that they are so forgiving. You don’t have to be precise on your measurements. If your onions or potatoes are a bit oversize, don’t save or throw out the excess, just throw in all of it and add some extra water or stock and a little more seasoning. This recipe as written gives a generous quantity – at least 12 servings, so be sure to start with a BIG stock pot. And like all my soup recipes – let it simmer for a while, then taste and add salt and seasonings to your own tastes. There is a lot of salt in commercial stock so I always wait until soup is cooked to decide whether more salt is needed. Likewise, individual tastes vary on the degree of curry heat you enjoy, so let all the flavors meld before adding more.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced fine
2 cups chopped celery
2 – 3 large sweet potatoes, cut in cubes.
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup dry brown lentils
Additional water as needed – 4 to 8 cups
1 – 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes with their liquid
Curry powder to your taste – I start with 2 teaspoons and add more as needed
Salt to taste
Get a BIG pot. One that will hold at least 6 quarts. Put three tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom and put over a medium heat on the stove. Add chopped onion and saute over medium-low heat until onion is translucent – about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, ginger and celery and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add vegetable or chicken stock, lentils, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of curry powder. Add enough water to cover the vegetables by at least 2 inches. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils and potatoes are cooked through. Add more water if needed. Taste and add salt and more curry if desired.
The Ohio Broad
The White Oak Inn