Saturday, February 28, 2009

Red Lentil Soup

adapted from 101 Cookbooks

I didn't end up making this exactly the same way, I had to make some substitutions and still it turned out pretty well. Ben ate the entire pot. That is 7 servings. Yikes.

2 cups lentils (black beluga or green french recommended)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
1 can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
3 cups of a leafy green (chard, kale, spinach) rinsed and chopped
salt, to taste

a pinch of saffron
1 Tbsp boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Bring 6 cups of water to boil, add lentils and cook for about 20 minutes (until tender). Drain and set aside so they don't get mushy.

To make the saffron yogurt, combine the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron steep for a few minutes and stir it in with the yogurt. Mix in salt and set aside.

Then, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot and saute the onion in slat until tender. Then stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and stock until the soup comes to a simmer. Stir in the chopped greens and wait another minute until just wilted. Ladle into bowls and served with a dollop of yogurt.

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Feta Stuffed Bread

adapted from Arabic Bites

I love to try different breads when I make soup, and this recipe just was too tempting to resist! Although the photo doesn't reveal much, inside the bread is gooey with melted cheese and packed with flavor.

3 cups flour
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
oil, for shallow frying

8 oz Feta, crumbled
8 oz Cheddar (I used Edam), grated
3 scallions, diced
fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
*I also added a handful of diced sun-dried tomato... mmmm...

Place all dough ingredients in a bowl and knead until dough is soft (about 5 minutes for a mixer, 10 by hand). Cover dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

While the bread is rising, combine all filling ingredients and set aside.

Preheat a pan to medium heat and 1 Tbsp oil. Once risen, take the dough out and divide it into 8 balls. One at a time, flatten each ball into a round. Then plop 1-2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle and gather up the edges of the dough and pinch them together, creating a dough ball filled with cheesy goodness. Gently flatten the dough ball with your hands or a roller until it makes a thinner pancake. It will be a bit lumpy because of the filling, but take care not to puncture the dough.
Then place the stuffed bread on the frying pan and cook until golden brown on both sides (1-2 minutes each side).
Serve warm!