I USED TO STIR THIS SOUP with a wooden paddle in a giant soup pot when I worked as a cook in a Natural Foods Cafe. I measured lentils, onions, and tomatoes not by cups but quarts. I measured cups rather than spoonfuls of hot peppers, fresh ginger, garlic, and spices. I chopped and grated everything by hand. And I had about 2 1/2 hours from start to people arriving for lunch, in addition to the other things I was cooking.
Whew! I sure don't have the nerve for that now.
I just made this soup again all these years later. It really is quite manageable at home and comes together surprisingly quickly. Get your lentils going, then do all your chopping and measuring of everything else. Once you have all the ingredients prepped, it is quite fun to cook. The aroma is divine. The spices are so warming. It is really sublime in taste.
I remember why people used to line up out the door on the days I cooked this.
Serve with bread and a dollop of yogurt.
|Cabbagetown Cafe Cookbook by Julie Jordan, 1986|