Thursday, September 14, 2006

It's All in the Condiments

Lentil soup is a staple around here, because it's simple to prepare, freezes well, and makes a great quick dinner. But it helps to surround lentils with other fun stuff.

Like green beans.

Kidding -- green beans are wonderful, but I'm not sure I'd call straight-up boiled ones fun. I'm referring to the little bowl of roasted tomatoes with thyme and garlic. Whenever I've picked enough tomatoes from the garden, I toss them with salt, pepper, thyme sprigs, and garlic cloves and throw them in a not-too-hot oven for a couple hours. (As is so often the case, this brilliant idea came from my mom.) After barely half an hour, amazing things begin to happen. The aroma, savory and herbal yet a bit acidic, is enough to torture me, and it only grows more intense and tantalizing. Then when the tomatoes are finally finished -- some shriveled and deflated, others wrinkled but still plump -- I cover them with olive oil and put them in a jar, and they keep in the fridge for a long time. They make the ultimate condiment (see the rib eye from a few days ago).

Tonight I spread the tomatoes on a toasted roll as I ate the lentil soup, and that made dinner a lot more fun.


Sigivald said...

Boiled green beans alone are not all that fun, no.

But when you parboil them, and finish them off in a pan with some chopped bacon (including bacon fat for the frying), onion, and garlic, they're nearly an entree.

the cook said...

Now that sounds fun!

E said...

I had an amazing bowl of lentil soup tonight, bits of chorizo, a dollop of sourcream and some bread. Soup is the reason I enjoy the fall and winter.

the cook said...

Ah, chorizo. Next time it's lentils with chorizo and beans with bacon.