I have three Indian cookbooks from which I can usually find something I want to make, perhaps with some additional guidance from a cooking site or blog. The one cookbook I bought because every single recipe had a lovely photograph! It’s relatively small 12 cm x 15 cm (5″ x 6″) which makes it even more adorable! It came with a ribbon book mark attached to the spine so you can mark the recipe you are making or the next one since it has lay-flat binding. With all these things going for it, you would think I would love this cookbook, but sadly I don’t. In fact, I have not enjoyed one of the recipes I’ve made from this book without significant changes! I should just chuck the thing but I can’t because I really like the way it looks. I know it’s silly but it is what it is.
This is a recipe I altered after having acquired a Meyer Lemon from a shoot in November and I wanted to make something with it. I puréed the soup to a smooth velvety consistency and I dressed it with a cumin yogurt drizzle with green onion slices, you could also drizzle with a flavour olive oil. The Papadams are from our trip to Chicago when Chgo John took us to his favourite ethnic stores.
Lemon Lentil Soup
Serves 2 generously (1 cup portions or 250 mL each)
- 100 g dahl or yellow lentils
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, peel and finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-4 cups water (depending on how thick you prefer your soup)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- grated rind of one lemon
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 tsp cumin
- Shopped green onions as garnish
- Rinse the lentils and cook with the ginger, garlic, chill and turmeric and 2 cups water until soft.
- Add the salt, lemon juice and rind and blend with an immersion blender until smooth, adding water to achieve the consistency you prefer.
- Press through a fine sieve and set aside.
- In a small frying pan add the cumin and toast until fragrant. Cool. Once cool add to the yogurt and mix well. Salt to taste. Transfer to a small plastic squeeze bottle.
- Reheat soup and pour into rimmed soup bowls. Begin piping the yogurt from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock, then 2 to 7 and finally from 9 to 3. Then using a sharp knife beginning in the centre of the bowl, draw a spiral circle culminating at the outer ring (this will make the pattern). Garnish with the chopped green onions and papadums.