Innovation is limited only by imagination. (Well, thatís not quite true. It can also be limited by physics and chemistry, but those were not my strong subjects in school, so I tend to disregard them whenever possible.)
Where was I? Oh, right. I had three different (very different) lentil soup recipes in front of me this morning (morning!) when I was putting together the latest concoction. I knew what I wanted to start with, because last night in the wee hours I was chopping onions, carrots and celery.
As you know, Iím not a trained chef. Most of what I know about cooking I learned from (a) the Food Network, and (2) a massively diverse collection of cookbooks. I know that the blending of flavors is something you learn over time, or from someone who knows what theyíre talking about. For now, Iím making stuff up as I go along. I had three recipes, so I picked parts and pieces from all of them, threw it all in the crock pot, and stirred every couple of hours.
The last time I made this soup, I added some of my favorite spices to the basic recipe: cumin, turmeric and curry powder. This time, because they were in one of the other recipes, I put in some cinnamon and freshly grated ginger as well.
Maybe thatís a little too much of one thing or not enough of another, but I can always try something different next time. Thatís assuming I can remember what I did this time, of course. I wrote it down as I went along, but I didnít keep track of the amounts because I didnít really measure. Iím sort of a haphazard cook at best. Itís probably just as well that I cook almost exclusively for myself (not that I wouldnít share with you if you really wanted to try it).