By The Season: Dal Soup Recipe

    The Art of Eating Locally
        by: Ivy Manning

I am so happy to share this recipe with you as part of by the season. First of all, I love this cookbook.  Its has the easiest and delicious seasonal recipes.  I chose this recipe especially because of the ingredients.  Recently I've learned that I really need to make sure my diet has plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and with turmeric and cinnamon in this one, I've got a good balance.  While this soup doesn't look appealing, hence the lack of photo of the finished product, it is hearty and satisfying.  Let me know what you think.

Dal Soup with Winter Vegetables

1 1/2 cups red lentils
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
one 2-inch cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups 1-inch cauliflower florets
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup roughly chopped cabbage
2 medium (2 cups) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons peeled, minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 small (2 teaspoons) Serrano chile, finely chopped

1.  Rinse the lentils in a fine mesh sieve.  In a soup pot, bring the lentils, water, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt, and turmeric to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the lentils have turned a muted amber color and the mixture has become a thick porridge consistency, about 25 minutes.

2.  Add the cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, place a sauté pan over high heat; add the oil and mustard seeds.  Cover and cook until the seeds pop, about 30 seconds.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the cumin seeds, ginger, garlic, onion, and chile.  Saute until the onion begins to brown, about 6 minutes.  Stir the mixture into the soup pot, season with salt and pepper and serve in bowls.