Orange -Lentil Soup
It is getting cold.
This fall is beautiful: warm and sunny. For the time being. But the early hours of the day are getting more and more chilly. This is the time for warming soups.
Soups are not everybody’s thing: some people can’t imagine a day without a soup, others don’t care. Until November, when the wind and the cold weather remind them how good a bowl of warm soup can be.
There is a soup tradition in our family, so to speak. My mother is a fantastic cook, my grandma and great grandma were also wonderful in the kitchen – I learned the secrets of soup making in their kitchens. My mom’s soups are perfect. Whenever we visit her and she asks what she should prepare for us, we always say soup. It doesn’t matter which one. We have a few favourites, but we like to be surprised.
I always ask what the tricks are and sometimes I try them out. At the beginning I was upset, because my soups tasted differently, although I did everything the same way. I sometimes stood next to her to watch and find out what I missed. These were the moments when I learned the most, for example, that she grates the onion instead of chopping it. After I learned the tricks and cooked many soups, I didn’t care anymore that my soups taste different than hers. Everybody’s soups taste different. Mom’s soups have a unique mom’s flavour in them. My soups are five elements soups.
I found an interesting soup-story in Vienna: there are two nice women cooking five elements soups and filling them in half a litre glass jars to sell it. They cook their soups themselves. They call it a soup-manufacture: Suppito. They are pretty popular in the city: you can see their soups in more and more shops.
As I was looking at the pictures from the soup-manufacture, I recognised one of the women as a classmate from the food-therapy course. The next time we started talking in one of the breaks, so I had the opportunity to ask her about the soups. I was mostly curious of the preservation: How they manage to make their soups stay fresh for several weeks. Some of them are good for up to 3 months. Of course they cook everything without any preservatives.
They use a traditional way of preserving: they put the jars in boiling water, then pour the boiling soup into the hot jars, close them immediately, and shock the full and closed jars in cold water. This way, we get vacuum, which doesn’t let the bacteria develop, since they don’t have any oxygen. Following these instructions, we can easily preserve our soups for the busy weekdays.
What do you say?
This time I have cooked a Suppito soup: Orange-Lentil Soup with cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves and cumin. Substantial, warming and fresh.
I only changed one thing in the recipe: the way of making. I kept all the ingredients, but the way of preparing is completely different. I always cook pulses separately and pour out the cooking water. This way, our meal gets more easily digestible. Using herbs like ginger, bay leaves and cumin, we also help the digestion, so this way, the side-effects of the pulses can be reduced even more. Lots of people don’t like pulses, because they feel bloated after eating them. We can reduce this side-effects with the help of these tricks. If we feel this way, we should pay more attention to our digestion, because it is a strong sign of week digestion.
- 200 g lentils
- 3 bay leaves
- 3-4 tablespoons of oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into small cubes
- 2 grams ginger (small piece), freshly grated
- 4-5 gloves garlic, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
- 3 medium carrots, washed and cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 tablespoon unbleached salt
- 1 l vegetable stock (If we don’t have any on hand, we can use water instead. In this case, we should use more spices.)
- 2 medium carrots, cut julienne
- freshly pressed juice of 1 orange
- 1 bunch parsley, freshly chopped
- Cook the lentils soft in ca. 2 litres of water. Put the bay leaves into the water in the beginning. After cooked, pour the cooking water out. (Don’t salt it while cooking, because it makes the lentils cook more slowly.)
- While the lentils are cooking, we make the other part of the soup: warm up a heavy pan, pour the oil in it, put the onion in it. Sauté it for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ginger and garlic to the onion, and sauté it for another minute. Stir it, so it doesn’t get burnt.
- Add the cumin to it, and stir it for another minute.
- Put the potatoes and the carrots into our spicy mixture, and stir in the cinnamon as well.
- Steam it for 10 minutes covered, until the potatoes and the carrots get halfway tender. Stir it 2-3 times, so it doesn’t burn.
- Pour the vegetable stock into it, salt and pepper it, and stir in the orange zest as well.
- Cook it covered until the vegetables are soft, then mix it with a blender.
- Add the lentils, the julienne carrots and the orange juice to our mixed soup. If it’s too thick, add some water to it, until you get the right consistency.
- Bring it to a boil again, put some salt in it if needed.
- Serve it with freshly chopped parsley leaves.