Randy’s Recipes: LENT-IL Soup
Giving up meat for Lent? Try this light, yet hearty soup. Even the word root is interesting: “Lent”, and the abbreviation for Israel, “IL”. We lend something with the premise of it being given back. Hopefully, Love will not be like that — it’s not generally supposed to be (but this soup is comforting in that event, as well).
It would be a misnomer to classify this recipe as my own. It’s not. But, “Randy’s Recipes” has a certain alliteration about it that I’ve decided to keep and employ as a general category. The previous recipes have been mine (the pita one belonged to my Mother), although, like I said, the bottle of Zahatar seasoning from Pereg brand does list cream cheese, as well as pita, in its Chef’s Recommendations on where to utilize its product.
The red pottage which became a symbolic token of the birthright exchange from Esau to Jacob in no way implies that the reverse occurred in the provision of this soup and the knowledge of its preparation from my Palestinian ex-husband to myself. While the recipe might very well have remained the same all these years, there are a couple of ways to achieve it. The recipe here uses whole ingredients. I have also cooked it with spectacular results using various seasonings/spices, when I didn’t have an onion to use, and it was just as good. I forget how I did it though, so I’ll just give you the basic recipe. I hope I never vowed not to divulge this, because I would feel badly were that the case. But the marriage, I believe, was perhaps a sham, and so many of the vows which should have been an inherent part of it were discovered to be missing — you drove me from my land with your threats of bodily harm and imprisonment — slavery, even, to masters other than even yourself. I left immediately, without my things. Never mind.
Enjoy this, “on the House”.
Randy’s Recipes: LENT-IL Soup (Randyjw; February 18, 2016)
2 bags red lentils (Goya, or other brand)
1 large white, Vidalia, or yellow onion: (quartered to-eighthed or whole, at your preference)
About 8 cloves peeled garlic
Optional: Lime Syrup Slurry
Remove blemished, discolored lentils and any foreign matter from amongst the lentils, and rinse several times to remove the foamy residue accumulating at the start.
Cover the lentils several inches above their top level with water in a pot on the stove top. Turn the heat to a medium-high level to drive out the rest of the foamy matter and begin cooking the lentils. You want to leave it at a low enough temperature in order not to quick-cook the lentil, but enough to skim the foam. Skim off this foam continually, at the first — if you don’t, it will taste dirty. When the lentils seem to have given up most of its foam, add the onion to the pot, and continue cooking. Use care to check that the onion and/or lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn; for this purpose, it may be best to leave the onion whole, and slice it, if need be, at the end. Turn down the heat to a soft simmer and continue cooking. Towards the last twenty minutes or so, add the garlic to the pot (enough time to cook it until soft, but not throughout the whole cook time).
Ladle the soup into its serving bowl. Cut a lemon and squeeze some of its juice onto the soup.
For optional lime syrup slurry, prepare 1/2- to 1- day in advance. Wash 4 ripe, sweet limes very well. Zest (if inedible) or cut rind (if edible) into small bits. Place into bowl or container. Sprinkle copiously with sugar and stir. Repeat several times until a thick slurry paste is developed. Cover and place into refrigerator and let infuse overnight. Dip spoon into bowl for slurry to seep onto it. Add a tablespoon of slurry or so per serving, mixed in at time of presentation, for a slightly different, uplifting version. Enjoy immensely!
This variation, below, adds israeli couscous, spices, and mushrooms to the soup, for a heartier version:
6.9 Yums Up