Thursday, February 19, 2009

Spicy Lentil Soup with Lime

First of all, thank you all for your lovely wishes and kind messages on the previous post. Little Nora Adeele and I spent 10 days in the maternity clinic growing and recuperating (with K. by our side every night, feeding me and the clinic staff with his delicious cannelés). We've been back home for over a week now, and I'm happy to report that our wee girl has already gained 400 grams on top of her birth weight, purely on breast milk diet, so she's doing well.

As we're still learning each other's daily routines, my cooking has been erratic and quick. Something that can be whipped up within minutes and then left unattended until I can finally eat it, with baby on one arm and spoon in another. This soup is a good example. I made it yesterday - it demands about 10 minutes hands-on time (for peeling and chopping the onions and carrots), and then couple of stirring motions every now and then. I've had many a lentil soup this winter, and this is definitely one of the favourite ones, with lime juice adding a lovely and different zing to it.

Spicy Lentil Soup with Lime
(Vürtsikas läätsesupp laimiga)
Adapted from Olive (October 2007), a British food magazine
Serves 4

1 Tbsp oil
grated fresh ginger (about 1 cm chunk)
1 tsp cumin seeds
a generous pinch of chilli flakes
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces or coarsely grated
150 g red lentils ('Egyptian lentils')
1 litre vegetable stock (I used Swiss Marigold)
1 lime

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add grated ginger, cumin seeds and chilli flakes and heat for about a minute, stirring to avoid burning.
Add onions and carrots and heat for about 5 minutes on a moderate heat, stirring regularly.
Add lentils and the stock.
Bring into a boil and simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, until lentils are softened.
Blend the soup into a silky pureé and season with lime juice (and salt and pepper, if you think it's necessary).
Garnish with some chilli flakes and lime zest and serve.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

An early and very special arrival

Let me introduce you to our little baby girl. We don't know her name yet, as she was in a bit of a hurry arriving into this world, so K. and I are still discussing the possible options. But she's gorgeous, and despite being few weeks too early, she's doing very well. So are her parents :) She arrived into this world at 5.52 pm on Friday, January 30th, weighing in at 2460 grams and 48 cm.

The picture above is taken this morning, when she's about 40 hours old (young?).

As we'll be spending the next week or so recovering at the birth clinic, there won't be much cooking happening at Nami-Nami household at the moment. But don't despair - this might just give me a chance to finally tell about those fantastic food-related trips to Spain (meal at El Bulli!) and the US we had last summer.

Life is beautiful.