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Saturday, February 6, 2010

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).




5 February 2010



The texture of the soup was fantastic, just what I was going for. The flavor was terrific, although Iíd probably leave out the cinnamon and try something different next time. Iím all about experimenting, until I find the perfect combination. And then, Iíd probably change it up again, just for fun. Iím thinking I could add diced butternut squash and apples, but Iíd probably wait for the last couple of hours before putting in the squash, to keep it from getting mushy. I should use greens in these soups more, too. I just want to keep going with this as long as I can, and variety is whatís going to help me do that.




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