Brady Evans cooks a red lentil soup with lime and a hint of cinnamon for an evening on her own.
By Brady Evans
I hear about all these women whose husbands travel or work late or don’t have husbands (or wives) and therefore don’t bother cooking for themselves.
And I think to myself (and sometimes say aloud), “That’s just stupid. These ladies need to eat, too. And they deserve to put the time and effort needed for a meal even when they are just cooking for themselves.”
And then I found myself one Friday night. Alone. With my husband somewhere on some interstate, settling on a salad for dinner. Because I “didn’t want to cook for one person.”
So I sat myself down and gave myself a talking-to. I told myself that I was worth the effort and the dishes. And then I washed my hands and got to work.
Not that it was work. It was quite nice not having to rush to get the meal together, be watched over as I chopped onions, garlic. Be rushed as a photographed. Be judged as I ate on the floor with the dogs instead of at the table.
But you know what the best part of cooking for only yourself is? I have an excuse to make this DELICIOUS recipe really soon, again, because it must be shared with the Omnivore.
I adore cinnamon. I adore the texture of this soup. I crave the zip the lime juice adds.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced crosswise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- 1 cup (250 mL) red lentils
- 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable broth
- 2 cup (500 mL) hot water
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp butter (OR Smart Balance or other vegan butter substitute)
- 1 medium red onion, cut into thin half-circles
- pinch salt
- Heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, and cinnamon and cook until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the lentils and stir them so they’re coated with oil. Add water and broth.
- Stir well, then bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the lime juice while the soup is cooking, adding additional liquid if it gets too thick.
- Add about a teaspoon of salt. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have completely broken down into a smooth, creamy soup.
- While the soup is simmering, caramelize the onions.
- Heat the oil and butter in a skillet.
- Add the onions and cook over low, sirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, until onions are very soft and brown. Season with a little salt.
- To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and top with onions.