Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lentil Therapy

I wasn't feeling great when I woke up, and I was in the mood for procrastinating. So I turned on Food Network, where Giada was making lentil soup. Hmm... I have lentils. I have carrots. I have onions. I have herbs. I turned off the tube and pulled out my chef's knife.

The only thing I didn't have was celery. So I grew daring: Today I will make soup without celery! A brash move, I realize, but I wanted to see what would happen. Well, the soup gods let it slide, because that celery was not missed. After all, I did have bacon -- slab bacon. As I began the soup, I sliced the bacon razor thin and let it get real crisp before I removed it (to add back at the end) and left its fat behind to cook the vegetables in.

I didn't really use Giada's recipe for much beyond inspiration, as hers was a heartier stew made with chunks of beef. But I did heed her advice to use canned tomato. In the past, I had made a tomatoless version, and it left something to be desired. Now I know what it was. I don't mean to brag, but Margy called today's offering "the best lentil soup I have ever eaten." Sometimes procrastination pays off.


Caryn said...

Anytime, anywhere, anyplace: bacon beats celery every time.

Lentil soup sounds like a great pick me up. I think you hit the nail on the head by observing that it's often the inspiration that's more valuable than the actual recipe. Why tonight I even took some pictures of potatoes -- wonder where I got that from?

the cook said...

Potatoes can be quite photogenic. Or not. Did any of them look like Jay Leno?