Growing up speaking Spanish there was a saying that went: “Lo veo hasta en la sopa” meaning that you encountered something or somebody just about everywhere you went. How did “I see it even in my soup” ever originate? You would not have to stop and think about it if you grew up in my neighborhood. The day started with breakfast, of course, but next was “la sopa”. The noon meal, which was the main meal of the day, would start, inevitably, with a soup course, usually one that sat on the stove simmering all morning. Sometimes soup would be the main course with a side hearty salad of some sort, but you would count on soup every day.
I love what I call cupboard meals which some people call pantry meals. That is a dish or a whole meal you can make from ingredients at hand.
Last week I stopped to grab lunch at Antonio’s Market & Cafe and had a bowl of lentil soup. I didn’t know what to expect, but when it came, it turned out to be a TOMATO lentil soup. A lightbulb when on! Why had I never thought of it? It would be the perfect cupboard lunch!
I like to pair lentils with garam masala, so that is how I flavored my soup, but then, I thought, why not Italian herbs next time? Or a Spanish take with cumin and saffron?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garam masala, or
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- 3 cups diced tomatoes, divided
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat .
- Add chopped onions and cook to soften but not brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sliced carrots, garlic, and garam masala (or Italian herbs).
- Stir to coat with oil.
- Add half of the diced tomatoes.
- Using an immersion blender, or a food processor, liquefy the rest of the diced tomatoes, including their juice.
- Add the lentils, the water. and the salt and pepper
- Bring to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to medium low.
- Cook for 20 minutes.
- Check for seasoning and serve.