A Rare Offering

One of the best things about Autumn is soup. Every year I have several people strongly suggest I should put together a cookbook of my best recipes. The problem is, I don't write recipes...

In fact, I seldom even follow recipes unless I'm baking, which is more of a science than regular cooking is. And soups are sort of ad lib affairs, aren't they? Recipes have no souls, but standing at the stove, adding this, risking that, and tasting as one goes, well, that's soup that warms not only the tum, but the heart as well.

Last night I made a curried lentil soup that I served with corn bread and a salad. Perfect on a cold evening. Needing to get groceries as soon as my paycheck arrives (should be today), there wasn't much in the cupboards, but I was able to pull a great meal together. And the great thing about soup is that there's always a lot leftover for lunches and no-cooking nights during the week ahead.

Anyway, despite my reluctance to write these things out, here's my recipe. Mind you, it's not meant to be followed to the letter. Feel free to add or take away anything you want.

Curried Lentil Soup

1 Small bag dried lentils
1 White onion, peeled & coarsely cut up
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 Large potato, peeled & cut up
2 Ribs celery & tops, chopped
1 Carrot, pared & cut up
Extra virgin olive oil
8 C. Chicken or vegetable broth
Water, if needed
1 T. curry powder
1 t. oregano
1 Bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
1 T. butter
Green onions, snipped

Sweat onion in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a soup pot. Add garlic, celery, and carrot. Add lentils and stir to coat with the oil. Add broth and water if needed to make a nice amount of soup. Add potato and seasonings and cook uncovered until the lentils are soft. For a smooth soup you can use a stick blender to create the consistency you like. If it's a little thin, just make a simple roux. Before serving, add the butter and stir to add a little gloss. Serve topped with the green onions.