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Laird green lentil soup

I am a huge fan of lentils, daals, legumes, its a great source of protein for the vegetarians. Lentils are tasty, easily available, cheap, easy to stock and easy to cook. I am totally obsessed with them. Be it Indian, Italian or any sort of cooking there will be a lentil dish on my table. My gals also know that, Mama is super obsessed with this SUPER food! You can get so creative with them and produce great dishes. Now that its fall weather, a bit windy and a bit cold and snow approaching us, we need some nice and solid soups for our meals. This extremely super easy recipe was derived after I ate lentil soup at hiltl and not guilty a few months back. Now I love cooking but there are some days you just don't feel like it, but you definitely feel like eating nice, fresh and healthy food. That is a problem when you cant compromise on your food. I have also tried this recipe with Le Puy lentils and a few others but I like the taste of these. They are a bit nuttier in taste and were the best choice of lentils for me for this soup. I was getting late for my Pilates class at 9.00 and I was to have a full house for lunch. Now before going out I always decide what I am going to cook for lunch. I started looking in the fridge and there were two or three shrivelled carrots, yogurt, Quark, old bread and mustard. I seriously needed to go shopping. Now I tried my luck at the drawers and the good old dear Green Laird lentils peeked at me and gave me a big smile. So there I went and soaked about 250 gms of lentils in cold water and off I went to my class. Now these green lentils or the Laird Lentils (While surfing I bumped into this wonderful website which had a great article on lentils, enjoy) I haven't seen much in India or Asia and then I decided to surf about them on the net. It turned out that Canada is one of the largest exporter of these green lentils in the world. I always thought its India but anyways. After coming back LATE after having a nice sauna, this is what I did quickly but to the family, they thought its a a very thought after recipe :) didn't hurt me at all. Ingredients: - 250 gms green laird lentils, soaked. - 1 dried red chili - 1 tsp salt or to taste - 1 tsp of cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp turmeric powder - an inch piece of ginger - twice the water

To Garnish: - 2 tsp of mustard - 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil - Quark or creme (quark is a type of cheese made with sour milk and curdled, something like Indian chenna) - juice of half lime

Method: - Soak the lentils for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight. This reduces the cooking time and saving on the gas too and its super quick cooking. - Take twice the amount of water as the lentils, add salt to taste, a tsp of cumin seeds, a dried red chili, an inch piece of ginger and half tsp of turmeric. - Cook in the pressure cooker for about 8 minutes and close the gas and let it cool. If you are cooking in a pot, it will need about 15-20 minutes. So I would recommend to invest in a pressure cooker and save your time and energy (not your energy but power energy) - Once the pressure has cooled down, open the lid of the cooker. Discard the red chili and the piece of ginger. - Puree the lentils with the help of a hand mixer, not very fine but coarse and leave a few whole lentils too. Tastes good and also gives a good character. - Now add a bit more warm water to the lentils and make it into a soupy consistency. Heat it up once again until it looks uniformed. You can keep the consistency as per your choice. - Now add the mustard and the olive oil to the soup and mix it well. - Add the lime juice too. - Serve in a bowl topped with quark. I served it as a lentil soup with toasted brown baguette, rubbed with a garlic clove and sprinkled with olive oil. The stale bread makes the best bruschetta - Enjoy, its a very fulfilling easy peasy meal.

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