Egyptian Red Lentil Soup-Easy Vegetarian Recipe

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup


Well it was a frigid 29 degrees but it felt like 18 degrees here in Houston. It’s March and winter will not let up it’s grip!

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But here is some proof that Spring is approaching our area. If anyone knows what the name of this tree is, PLEASE leave me a comment. It blooms for a short time, the white flowers fall off  and then the green leaves bud rapidly.

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Well with it being so cold, I decided to make a yummy soup for the family using some lentils and a few other ingredients. We like to buy a lot of our spices and dry goods in the bulk section. You can get those exotic spices and legumes for a low price. We wanted to try the red lentils this time.

(They really are an orange color, but the label says red, then after it cooks it turns green..go figure..?) This picture shows half of what I have already used. lentilorange

This was adapted from this recipe on Food.com.

Ingredients

5 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup dried red lentils
1 to 2 cups chopped onions and sauteed
2 cups chopped red potatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
2 garlic cloves, chopped and sauteed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
salt and pepper

Directions

1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a large pot; cover and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until the lentils and veggies are tender.
3. Take pot from stove burner and set aside.
4. In a small saucepan, add the oil; warm over low heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.
5. Add in the cumin, turmeric, and salt; cook and stir constantly for for 2-3 minutes or until the cumin has released its fragrance (be careful not to scorch the spices).
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6. Set spice mixture aside for 1 minute to cool.
7. Stir spice mixture into the lentil mixture; add cilantro, stir to combine.
8. You can puree the soup, in batches, in a blender OR you can use an immersion blender and blend to desired texture (I like to leave it a little chunky).
9. Add in lemon juice if you want; stir to combine.
10. Season if needed with salt/pepper.
11. Enjoy!
P.S. You could also add carrots to this recipe for an added flavor. This is so filling and it sticks to your ribs!
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Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake

praline cheesecake

PRALINE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

Printable Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving. This is a recipe that has become one of my favorites to make this time of year. I love cheesecake and adding in a little pumpkin makes this recipe perfect for Turkey day.

INGREDIENTS
Cheesecake Crust
2 cups crushed graham crackers
8 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup of sugar

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling
3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, soft at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
4 large eggs
1 can (15 ounces) solid pack pumpkin; not pumpkin pie filling
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Praline Topping
1/2 cup firmly packed Dark brown sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325°F.
1. To make crust, use a rolling pin or food processor and crush graham cracker to obtain 2 cups. Add melted butter, sugar, and combine well.
MY TIP: Place parchment paper in the bottom of the pan before you press crust in. Cut a circle as close to size as you can. This will help you slide  the entire cheesecake off the bottom of the pan to the serving dish without it tearing apart. If you want to keep in on the cake pan then skip this tip.

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2. Press onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch diameter spring form pan and place in oven for 9 minutes.
MY TIP: Use a measuring cup with a flat bottom to press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. This will help keep the crust even and compact.

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3. When the pan has cooled, wrap the outside of the pan with 3 layers of tin foil. Ensure that no water could penetrate through foil. Place pan in a roasting pan and set aside.
4. To make pumpkin cheesecake, beat soft cream cheese and both sugars on low speed until well blended with no lumps. Scrape bowl well.
5. Add one egg and mix. Then add the rest of the eggs, mix each egg one at a time.  Scrape bowl and beater well in between additions.
6. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and mix to combine – do not beat, just mix by hand. (Don’t over beat cream cheese mixture.) Pour into cake pan over crust. Pour water into roasting pan, about 1/2-3/4 inch high, and place in oven.
MY TIP: Place foil around the bottom of cheesecake pan  will prevent your cheesecake from baking too fast and drying out.

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Bake until center of cake no longer trembles, about 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours.
MY TIP: You do want the cheesecake to brown too much, or crack. Check periodically and shake to see if the center is no longer liquidy, it will be more like firm jello.
7. Pull roaster out of oven and pull out your cheesecake. Allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Place in refrigerator overnight. Bring your cake out of refrigerator about an hour before serving to bring it to room temperature. Remove outside of springform pan. Remove the cheesecake from the cake pan base and place it on your cake plate.
MY TIP: Take a long sharp knife and gently slide under the bottom of the cheesecake (in between the parchment paper and cheesecake) until you have loosened the entire cake from pan. Slide the cheesecake onto your platter.  
8. To make the topping, begin by toasting pecans for 8 minutes in a 350°F oven if desired.
In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil excluding pecans. Boil for 3 minutes ensuring that mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread on surface of cake.
Use a sharp knife that has been run under hot water to cut. Clean knife and run hot water on knife before each cut. You can also use dental floss to slice.

Enjoy!

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Adapted from Imperial Sugar recipe