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.


Champsleeve said...

I'm impressed that you are able to cook anything with a little baby!

This looks delicious. I'm going to make it for lunch today.


Sasha said...

Yum! I love the zing of adding lime to something spicy.

Eric Hoffman said...

That looks like a good winter soup. Is it traditional there?

Laura said...

Sounds so wonderfully nourishing! Maybe it would be good with a bit of dried mint added as well? At least, if Claudia Roden's red lentil soup recipe is any indication, it most certainly would be a nice addition!

Lennuk said...

I love your little girls name and I like lentils.

lobstersquad said...

ah, yes, soup is always the life saver, isn´t it? I learnt to chop vegetables standing on one foot, while pushing the buggy with the other.
But that´s over now, P is very happy too look on while I cook, so you´ll be back with the daring baking in no time.

Kristopher said...

Belated congratulations! I have bedn way out of the loop. Love the name -- old-fashioned in a good way.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

So glad you and Nora (and K.) are enjoying your time at home together. And you're cooking? Amazing!

Shayne said...

I am so happy to hear that Nora is doing so well and on breast milk that is wonderful. on of my favorite things about having little babies was the nursing. Even at 3AM

Anonymous said...

That baby is just a gorgeous precious doll!! & u are already cooking!!

my first time here, & it made my day seeing that beautiful baby:-)

Lovely soup... I posted a similar lentil recipe... a thing from back home. lovely recipe.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the both of you. What a blessing a little girl! I am so enjoying your food blog and have tried some of your recipes, with much success. Again take care of yourself and your precous daughter.

Annemarie said...

I'm just emerging from my post-baby blogging stupor so am *HUGELY* impressed you've cooked and written about it! Congratulations to the three of you and on your daughter's weight gain. My little one is a growing monster with a wonderful appetite, which shouldn't be a surprise. I hope you're settling into one another very well. x Annemarie

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you both. Ten days in maternity clinic, wow! Here everyone tries to get out as quick as they ever can. Two days at the most. Your clinics must be nicer places to stay.
That soup looks delightful for a cold day. Is it butter drizzled on top?

YKLEE said...

It was such a surprise to find your very interesting and informing blog. We did not know that you are such a good cook in Edinburgh. Well...I shall write you an email sometime soon, and by the way, congratulations on having your baby girl~

Pille said...

Champsleeve - well, one has to eat. And though K. takes very good care of us, he's working during the day..

Sasha - and it definitely works in this recipe..

Eric - no, lentils aren't so widely used here in Estonia, and limes are definitely not local. But we eat lots of dried split pea and bean soups here during winter..

Laura - don't think mint would work with all the spices in this particular soup, sorry..

Lennuk - thank you x 2

Lobstersquare - looking forward to that (until then I rely on K. and the baby sling)

Kristopher - thank you!! Adeele is the name of my paternal granny, who's 87 at the moment..

Lydia - thanks! And cooking is a nice change from breastfeeding and nappy-changing..

Shayne- nursing is lovely indeed, so i am awee bit sleep-deprived ;)

Soma & Rita - thank you for visiting!

Annemarie - Nora seems to have a huuge appetite - she'd be eating most of the time, given the choice :D

Claudia - our baby was almost 5 weeks premature, hence the extended hospital stay. Usually women leave after day or two, at the most..

Yu-Kang - whoah! How did you come across my food blog?? Welcome:)

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Congratulations! Enjoy your little one.
I have been reading your blog for a while but haven't left comments.
But I love my lentils and this soup is sure to be delicious.

Kat said...

imeilus supp.
ja koosneb asjadest, mis kõik on gaasivalude ja allergiate seisukohast 'pahade asjade' nimekirjas. Tundub, et te olete need õnnelikud, kellel kõht ei valuta ja punne ei tule :)

Rumela said...

Hey!! that Spicy Lentil Soup with Lime looks gorgeous. It must the great to taste too. Yummm..I love Lentil Soup. I am going to try this tonight.thank you for shearing your post.

Andrée Laganière said...

For thousands of years, women have been cooking soup and...other things too with little babies around, and strapped to their backs sometimes. Here in Guatemala they still do .
Good for you that you can teach your child the culture and benefits or "real food"!