Friday, November 06, 2009

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Look what I got! I know, you're so excited you could pee your pants, right? No? Well, I am! My last soup post included quite a bit of uncharacteristic whining about my disturbing lack of a dutch oven. Now I know I did lay down lots of not-so-subtle hints about birthday presents, but my birthday isn't until next month and I'm not very patient. I also don't happen to have a money tree, so I never thought I could just run out and pick up a glorious piece of cookware like this (that is the one I really wanted in my heart of hearts. It's my color!). I am partial to a dose of reality now and again. But then, then my friends, came the new World Market flyer in my mailbox! Not only were they advertising 5 quart cast iron dutch ovens for $49.99, but there was a coupon for $20 off any $50 purchase attached. Jackpot! I was in the car faster than you can say cassoulet.

I came home, washed her up, and started cooking. I've had soup on the brain for days anyway, since it's already snowed here and it's not even December. No better way to break in this baby than with a soup, which also happens to be the Test Kitchen challenge at Bakespace this month. Oh aaand, I've just joined the I Heart Cooking Club, a group of food bloggers who cook and post recipes from one chef for a 6 month period with a new theme each month. They are doing an Autumn Harvest theme this month. How convenient! Locally grown produce and a thick, hearty soup spells Autumn to me!

I started with a quick glance throught my cupboards and then went to one of my favorite ladies for inspiration, Nigella Lawson. Her food is so delicious, without any pretention or bullshit, and besides, she's gorgeous! That's why I was excited to find the I Heart Cooking club was working on cooking all Nigella, all the time. Her Lentil Soup recipe became the model for this soup. I had to make several changes due to missing ingredients, plus I added some sriracha for kick and some bacon because, well, it's bacon.

Middle Eastern Spiced Lentil Soup

6 slices of bacon, chopped
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbls. tomato paste
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
3 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. sriracha (Thai hot chili sauce)
3 cups water
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can diced tomato, drained
2 cups lentils, rinsed

In a skillet, cook bacon until browned and crisp, set aside on a paper towel to absorb grease.
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium high heat. Cook onion until softened, but not browned. Add carrots, celery, and garlic and cook 10-15 minutes or until softened. Add tomato paste and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of bacon and all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Aww, look how pretty this little pot is on my stove!
I think I'm falling harder for her than I did for my stand mixer!

Reduce heat to low and cook for one and a half hours. As the lentils cook your soup will get nice and thick.
Serve with reserved bacon sprinkled on top.Which I did, with a big hunk of buttered pumpernickle. Yum!

I'm also pretty proud of myself for figuring out something that for most people is probably simple, but for me has been mind boggling. A big shout out to the adorable Cassie of How to Eat a Cupcake for her help! See the nifty little printer icon below? Now you can click to print a recipe and cut it into convenient 3x5 inch recipe cards. I'm working on updating old posts to include this feature, but it's going to take me a little while, so please be patient:) If there is a certain recipe from an old post that you'd like to print, let me know and I'll make those a priority.

Now I'm off to plan my pre-Anthony Bourdain at the Michigan Theatre-show menu for tomorrow night.
I'm so excited!

Print the Recipe!


Danielle said...

I am sooo jealous!!! I asked for a dutch oven one year and got a bean pot. Its almost the same but its not. (didn't mean to rhyme). Your soup looks wonderful! great way to break that baby in!!

Now I need to figure out the printable recipe thing so I can add it to my posts too LOL

(btw...glad you enjoyed my "other" blog) :)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Congrats on your new pot!
I love that you added bacon to a Middle Eastern style soup. :)
Looks totally delish.

Kim said...

Congrats on your new pot! Such a pretty red color!! Welcome to IHCC. This is a great soup recipe. I think my husband would love this one.

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous color on your new Dutch oven--mine sits in a place of honor on top of the stove because I use it so much. Your soup looks wonderful--love your changes--especially the bacon! ;-) Welcome to IHCC!



Joanna said...

Don't worry, ladies, the irony of adding bacon to a Middle Eastern dish is not lost on me! But bacon makes everything better! :)

Jen said...

I love love love it! I cook my soup in a boring pot that the lid won't even fit properly.

girlichef said...

Yes, I would pat it and love's a beautiful Dutch Oven!! And the lentils sounds really awesome. Thanks for bringing it to IHCC this week :D

The Cooking Photographer said...


Your new dutch oven is so pretty. I was drooling over them at Macy's today. Sighhh. I don't know what it is, but I want one in every shape and size.

What a cool find and a great coupon, and lentil soup is a great way to break it in!


happy acres said...

Oh, I want one of those! We don't have that store here. May need to make a trip to Louisville. Soup looks wonderful!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Hey dear! Glad I could help, but looks like it could still use some tweaking. When I clicked the link, the next page that popped up said "HTTP 403 Forbidden" :(

Joanna said...

It should be fixed now, Cassie! I'd love if someone would try it and let me know if it doesn't work this time!

Jessica Gardner said...

I don't think the link worked for me either. Hm.
I think I saw dutch ovens at Tuesday Morning - I know there were a lot of Le Creuset things there. May need to check.

Cathy said...

Your soup looks great, the pot is pretty and I really love the print feature--how do you do that? I'm going to give it a whirl right now!

Karine said...

Your soup seems to be a comfort meal! Thanks for sharing :)