Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Back when I first got married, I knew how to cook just about . . . nothing. Enter my very patient husband, who, thanks to his upbringing in Russia, was accustomed to occasional bouts of hunger.(Okay, that was a terrible joke.)
One of the first recipes I tried out in my new life as a Mrs. came from a magazine my mother gave me when she was finished with it. It was probably Family Circle or Parade or something like that. Coincidentally, the week I tried out the recipe corresponded with the weekly Torah portion of Toldot, which includes the well-known story of Esav selling his bechorah, or birthright, to Yaakov for a bowl of red lentil soup.
The recipe is called Pot Luck Soup, but in the Raggedy household, it is known as Bechorah Soup. It's a good, hearty soup pefect for this time of year when the chillier weather is upon us (please stop laughing, Fudge and Ezzie. In my opinion, it is colder these days). Make sure to have plenty of challah or bread for dipping purposes. Doubling it works fine. My own notes are in brackets:
Pot Luck Soup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter [margarine or just a bit more olive oil]
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves [I don't like cloves in food so I leave them out]
1 can (35 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes
3 to 4 cups canned broth (chicken or vegetable) [or dissolve bouillon cube in water]
1/3 cup dried lentils, green or brown
1/4 cup dry red wine [I use the inexpensive cooking wine]
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley [I leave it out if I don't have it]
1. Place oil and butter in a heavy pot over low heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cloves during the last 3 minutes.
2. Puree the tomatoes with their juices in a blender and add to the pot [I think this is an unnecessary step. Just use the pureed tomatoes to begin with. Or mush them up as you cook.] Add the broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.
3. Add the wine, season to taste with salt and pepper, then simmer gently for 20 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and serve.
Here's hoping the only thing our children fight about is who gets the last bowl of this soup.