Los Angeles chef Margaret Ferrazzi is a culinary consultant, cooking teacher and caterer to Hollywood entertainment industry celebrities and executives such as Steven Spielberg, Ted Danson, Paul Reiser and Matt Groening. Her love of aromatherapy and passion for fresh, seasonal foods is reflected in her recipes. Aromatic spices, herbs and florals from all over the world enhance her dishes. Her exotic lentil soup, which resembles a popular South Indian staple, is rich in aromas but is not overpowering with blazing Indian spices. Serve this with a dollop of cooling raita to balance the spicy flavors. Top with the crumbled crisp pappadam or crackers.
- Salt to taste
- 1 pint nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger
- 2 qts. vegetable stock
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Pappadam or crackers, toasted until crispy
- 1 Tbs. mild curry powder
- 1/2 Tbs. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- To make Raita: Stir salt into yogurt, and drain by scooping yogurt into fine sieve lined with cheesecloth and set over bowl. Refrigerate for several hours.
- To make Lentil Soup: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. When very hot, add diced vegetables. Stir 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables begin to release juices and aromas. Add garlic and ginger, and stir. Reduce heat to low, and cover pot tightly. Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
- Mix spices together well. Stir into vegetables, and cook about 5 minutes more, or until fragrant.
- Add vegetable stock and lentils, and increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Season to taste, and stir in lime juice until well blended.
- To serve, sprinkle each portion with crisped pappadam or crackers. Stir coriander and mint into drained yogurt, and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator, and reheat serving portions as needed.
Pair with a ripe, slightly oaky, not-too-tannic Australian Shiraz such as Sheldrake Shiraz.
- Serving Size: SERVES 6
- Calories: 270
- Carbohydrate Content: 33 g
- Fat Content: 8 g
- Fiber Content: 12 g
- Protein Content: 18 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
- Sodium Content: 200 mg
- Sugar Content: 6 g