Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tomato Lentil Soup and Homemade Flatbread
Well, dear readers, it's been a bit mental around here lately. My move to the House of Science went off without any calamity, but since then things haven't exactly gone according to plan. I spent Thursday afternoon unpacking the kitchen boxes and hauling things around in general to allow us to actually live here, amongst the boxes. Then Friday morning I drove to Oakville to visit Kat and her lovely, albeit germy, young children.
Yes, the germs got me. Hardly a sniffle all winter only to be felled in the spring by the snot of youth. I stayed home from work today, lying in bed, feeling weak and useless. Unpacked boxes stayed unpacked while I listened to old episodes of This American Life and routinely missed the ends of stories as I fell into feverish sleep. Unpleasant.
However! Before I succumbed to sickness last night I made a batch of excellent soup and some equally excellent flatbread to go with it. This soup is one of those recipes that is simple to make but is greater than the sum of its parts when actually eaten. It ends up with a great roasty taste to it, and the red lentils make it hearty and filling.
The flatbread is a take on a recipe that I got from a Martha Stewart magazine about a decade ago. I used this "Nutriblend" flour to make it. I don't normally go for the name brand flours when no-name or bulk stuff will do just fine, but I picked this up because I was curious about its "fibre like whole wheat, taste like white" claims. It worked well, but I think next time I'll just mix whole wheat and white flour like I normally do.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter or vegan margarine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp cayenne (more for a spicier soup)
1 cup dry red lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups veg soup stock
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped small
In a medium sized soup pot, heat olive oil and butter or margarine over medium high heat and toss in garlic, bay leaves, and cayenne.
Rinse lentils and add them to the garlic mixture. Stir to combine.
Add tomatoes, soup stock, and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring frequently so lentils don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
When soup is boiling, cover and reduce the heat. Let it simmer until lentils are fully cooked. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Combine yeast, sugar, and water in a bowl. Let sit for five minutes.
Add flour, oil, and salt. Mix until a blob of dough forms.
Dump blob of dough onto floured counter top, knead until it becomes nice and elasticy.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let sit in a warm place for half an hour.
Heat a frying pan to medium high.
Roll dough into four or six even, flat circles.
Brush each circle of dough lightly with a mixture of oil and salt.
Cook each flatbread for about a minutes on each side.
1. I used the House of Science grill pan to do this bread and it turned out so well. Normally I scoff at all but the most rudimentary of kitchen products, but I am in love with this grill pan. In love!
2. There are ants in my kitchen. And wow, do they ever not like the tasty mix of dish soap and cayenne powder that I spread around their hang out spots. Still, I am annoyed by them and want them to go away. The Man of Science says they will go away now that we've started keeping the lid tightly on the compost bin.
3. This soup was equally tasty when I had the leftovers for lunch today. This might be a make-double-and-freeze-half recipe in the future.