Saturday, February 9, 2008

Recipe: Moroccan Lemon Lentil Soup - Dark Days Challenge

Serves 3-4

1 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup wild or brown rice
1-6 cloves of garlic (I used 6!)
2-4 pieces of Moroccan Preserved Lemon, seeds removed
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of yogurt or sour cream

This makes a very simple, meatless meal. It looks kind of funny, but it tastes really good. At least, we thought it did. For a full meal, add some fresh bread and a salad and you're good to go.

I get to cheat on this recipe a bit - the lemons in this recipe are home-grown! I have a potted Meyer lemon tree that lives in my greenroom half the year and outside in the garden during the other half.*** Last year I got quite a few lovely little fragrant and thin-skinned lemons and - not wanting to waste one precious bite (not even the peels) I decided to make Moroccan Preserved Lemons (click to view the recipe I used.) Here's what they look like.

If you don't have preserved lemons, you could probably just add a bit of fresh lemon pulp and some grated lemon peel. It won't be the same, but it should still be good. In the meantime, if you have access to any Meyer Lemons (or another thin-skinned variety) then click on the recipe link above and get some started for next time! They really are wonderful. I sometimes make a very simple vegetable stir fry with rice dish and just one of these preserved lemon sections diced finely really peps up the flavor all by itself.

So, back to the recipe. Start the wild rice first, because it takes the longest to cook. Cook it according to the directions on the package. Make sure it is fully cooked and tender, because it won't be cooked any more. Cook the lentils, lemon pieces and garlic cloves in enough water to keep them covered. Stir often to prevent sticking. When the lentils are tender, get out your hand blender (or cool them a bit and use the regular one) and puree until nice and smooth. Drain the wild rice, and add to the pureed lentils and lemons. Add the yogurt or sour cream, stir to blend and add salt to taste. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of extra yogurt or sour cream if you wish, and chopped chives or parsley.


*** I also have a lime tree, a pomegranate tree, a fig tree, three banana trees, a pot of lemongrass and a pot of galanga root. And fifty saffron crocuses, some of which bloomed this year. And a rosemary shrub. And a big pot of lemon thyme, which isn't hardy here. And a bay laurel tree. And an olive tree. And a tea plant. And a tea jasmine bush. I still want a condo mango and a kumquat. And a Key Lime or a Limequat.

I need a bigger greenroom. And more self-control, I'm afraid.

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