Thursday, September 27, 2012

Autumn Lentil Soup - Beijing Edition

Here we are in Beijing! The days are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to scuttle down streets and alley ways, and I am beginning to crave autumn. With October just around the corner, I thought I'd share with you my latest soup. Autumn, because it's fall; lentil, because that's what's in it. :)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am absolutely TERRIBLE at writing down recipes. But I'll give you a general idea so you can run with it and make this soup your own. I believe the best dishes turn out when you put your heart into it and let your senses tell you what to do.


1 cup mini brown lentils, soaked (I sprouted mine for an extra energy punch)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 medium sized carrots
1 large potato
1-2 medium tomatoes
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
sea salt to taste
crushed black pepper
dash savory (if you have it)
dash cayenne pepper
dash paprika

The spices I used are dried. 1/2 tsp of each spice may not be enough, but start with that. I think I had closer to 1 tsp (or more), but I don't measure things, so it's hard to say. You can always add spices as you need to.

Making the Soup
  1. Soak lentils overnight; rinse.
  2. Chop celery, onions, and garlic; set aside.
  3. Peel and chop carrots and potatoes; set aside.
  4. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in wok and heat until a drop of water sizzles in it.
  5. Toss in celery, onions, and garlic, and sauté until tender.
  6. Add carrots and potato and continue to sauté.
  7. While the veggies are cooking, chop up your tomatoes and throw them in!
  8. Add lemon juice
  9. Stir in lentils and enough filtered water to cover them.
  10. Throw in spices, salt and pepper.
  11. Add water (if you want more broth) and spices as necessary.
  12. Cover (if you have a cover) and cook on medium-low until lentils are tender.
  13. Serve with fresh flat bread and enjoy!

Note: I used a wok, because that's what I have. You can use whatever pot you have. Although, I actually have fallen in love with my wok's soup making skills.

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