A colorful soup rich in nutrients, this makes a satisfying meal with a salad and bread. Fresh sage is much more versatile in foods and certainly needs to be more widely used.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1-1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup red lentils
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Crispy Fried Shallots (see recipe below)
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add lentils, carrots, tomatoes, sage, bay leaf and stock or broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until lentils and carrots are tender.
Discard the bay leaf. Remove half of the soup and purée in a blender. Return to the rest of the soup and heat through. Stir in the lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with shallots.
Crispy Fried Shallots
Shallots are easily gown if they are planted in early fall and harvested the following year. Fried Shallots are a Malaysian specialty, with the round red type being prevalent
Soak the whole, unpeeled shallots in salt water for 5 minutes. Drain, peel, and slice thinly. Dry thoroughly on a cloth.
In a wok or small skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a cloth. These can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container.
The Herbal Palate Cookbook
by Maggie Oster and Sal Gilbertie
Photograph by Maggie Oster
Reprinted with permission