Monday, March 25, 2013

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

See that bowl of soup? DFJ and I just finished it off a minute ago… We ate off of the same bowl and shared the same spoon, passed it back and forth between us, exchanged a few words every now and then, and sometimes just enjoyed the comfortable silence.

Now I sit at the dining table, typing this post and he is in the office reading news. There is just enough of an opening in the door that divides the short distance between us so we can glance at each and talk when we need to. Moments like these make me appreciate so much the life we have together… sweet and simple.

This warm and spicy bowl of soup was inspired from Mark Bittman’s Dal with Lots of Vegetables. Anita, the author behind the beautiful blog, Cooking Poetry, chose this recipe for this week’s Food Matters Project.

I made this soup yesterday morning before going on an out of town shopping date with my friend, Elissa. More on this later… for now, I will suffice it and say, we had a blast! I sure am lucky to have her as a friend.

As I was making the soup, my mind was elsewhere and from what I remember, the following ingredients went in the giant pot: a sauté of diced onion, minced ginger, and minced garlic + a whole head of cauliflower and the stalks, chopped + two carrots, chopped + leftover cooked beets, chopped + a bunch of kale, chopped into ribbons. As I was sautéing the cauliflower, I threw in a tablespoon of mustard seeds, 4 cardamom pods, 4 whole cloves, a dried chile, and black pepper. After sautéing all the vegetables, I added a cup of green lentils + a generous amount of homemade chicken stock and water to cover everything about an inch. I let everything cook for about 20 minutes and added salt one pinch at a time. The flavors seemed off and bland, so I threw in some curry powder but it still wasn’t enough and I gave up.

DFJ picked up after my slack and somehow managed to pull everything together. When I asked him what he did, he said he added more cardamom, some coriander, some cumin, and lots of salt. The result was excellent! A heartwarming bowl of soup that only gets better with time.

My apologies for the terrible recipe directions… Worry not though, Anita has the original Mark Bittman recipe posted on her blog and the other FMP members will have recipes of whatever delicious creations they came up with!

Have a great week friends!  


  1. It WAS a wonderfully comforting, simple dinner, wasn't it?!? I love the added spices. Nice work.

  2. This looks great! I just bought a huge bag of lentils and was wondering what to do with them. I love any recipe involving Indian-inspired flavors.

  3. Aw, this sounds fantastic. It makes it even more special that it was a team effort :) You guys sound like such a cute couple.

  4. Two think better than one right? The soup looks fantastic and i loved the idea of sharing it from the same bowl!

  5. Love that you worked together to find the right spice combination! I encountered the same issue with blandness and the fix ended up being red pepper flakes and more salt to bring out the flavors of the spices. Gotta love those times when you end up just throwing everything in there!

  6. I love the fact that you guys both cooked the dish together AND ate it together! In a very literal way. :) Very cute.

  7. Hi Margarita,
    This soup looks so comforting and delicious! I love the addition of cardamom pods, cloves and black pepper. The kitchen must have had the most amazing aroma while the soup was cooking. Lovely!

  8. Like the teamwork! I'm glad it worked out- but that's the plus of these types of recipes, it all blends together and starts tasting better and better. And for some reason, the next day it's even more excellent!


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