I’ve started this blog to keep a personal track of my cooking progress as well as provide recipes to others who are not only interested in learning how to cook, but how to cook efficiently and productively. Along with my cooking journeys that sometimes fail, I will provide ways to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and maximize utility.
I decided to start with a simple recipe: Red Lentil Soup. I first ate this dish at a Jordanian friend’s house and absolutely fell in love with the richness of the flavor and its smooth texture. This recipe is a bit different than hers, she does not blend the soup. In Ramadan, the holy month in which Muslims fast, after milk and dates, this would be the next dish on your palette because it was light enough for your stomach, but tasty enough for your mouth!
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large potato
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 bouillon cubes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbs vegetable ghee
Productivity Hint: start with a clean kitchen, empty sink (if you don’t have a dishwasher, clean work space, and all your ingredients already out of the cabinets & refrigerator)
1. While boiling water, place lentils in large pot
2. Start to cut all your vegetables.
Chopping tip: make sure your fingers are curled in, preventing the knife from cutting your hand or nails. I use a FarberWare chef’s knife for chopping, relatively inexpensive but very good quality.
Always cut away from your hands
This plastic bag increases efficiency. After coming home from the market, I took one bag and hung it on a handle below my cutting board. This way, after I peel my carrots or potatoes, I can easily place the leftover remnants in this bag without having to travel to the garbage can. (When cutting up a lot of materials, this can be very useful). Also, getting rid of waste immediately eliminates clutter on your cutting board or counter, allowing you to work better.
3. Add vegetables to lentils in the pot along with 2 bouillon cubes of chicken broth and 1 tsp of cumin and a bit of salt
Great measuring utensil by PamperedChef
4. Add about 4 cups of water into the pot, this should be enough water to cover all the materials. Cover the pot and let boil.
5. After it has boiled, let cook on a medium/high heat for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.
6. Place the soup into a food processor and process until the mixture if of a smooth consistency. A blender or even a hand blender does the same trick.
You want to continue ‘pulsing’ at short intervals until you see a smooth mixture (the carrot appearances as shown in this picture indicate additional processing time is needed)
7. Place the soup back into the pot on the stove and add the ghee. Stir and then your soup is done! For the best taste, add a bit of lemon juice to the bowl!