It's the kind of almost-springy type day that brings everyone out and about. Putting the top down and being busy. It's the kind of day that my mom and I used to get in the car and tool around Atlanta. When it was open, we'd go to Brasserie Le Coze and have a girls day. Nothing-terribly-special white wine, a big bowl of mussels and frites and a bowl of white bean soup with a drizzle of truffle oil. I've missed those days. I miss that restaurant. Today, especially, I miss my mom. Lots.
As I often do on days when the memories tug at me, I turn to soup. Since I am back on the $30 Challenge this week, I made a bowl of something wonderfully comforting on a day like today that doesn't know if it wants to be winter or spring. Simmering black dal lentils with bay, garlic and cinnamon filled the house and my nose with wonderful smells – perfect for those deep breaths. I blended them with some black beans and seasoned it all with cumin, cayenne, and chili powder. Gussied up with a swirl of sour cream – without a little garnish, this stuff is a little gnarly looking – it's a delicious bowl of hybrid Southwestern/Indian flavors…all under $2.00 for the entire batch.
I also have extended the deadline for the Souper Soup Challenge to next Friday, March 13th. It seems like the Soup Challenge snuck up on everyone – including me! For all of the details, see this post.
Black Lentil and Black Bean Soup – serves 4 as a meal
– In a medium sized pot, combine lentils, bay leaf, cinnamon and garlic and cover with water or vegetable stock so that there is about 2 inches of liquid covering them. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover until tender – this was about 20 minutes for me. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
– Add the black beans, cayenne, cumin, chili powder and the onion to the mixture and heat through, about 10 minutes. Using an immersion blender, puree soup to desired consistency. Try the soup and add salt & pepper, to taste. Stir thoroughly. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream or yogurt, if desired. Serve immediately. Once you refrigerate this soup, it may thicken up quite a bit. When you reheat, just thin it out with a smidge of stock or water – the flavors taste better the longer this soup gets to mingle.