Saturday, February 04, 2006

Soup for the Super Bowl

My parents aren't exactly what I would call sport enthusiasts, which is why I was surprised when they said that they were going to a Superbowl party. Turns out it is a benefit for the Food Depot, Northern New Mexico's food bank, called Souper Bowl XII . Some of the best restaurants in Santa Fe cook up their tastiest soups for a soup cook-off and competition. All of the proceeds from the event go to the Food Depot.


If you want to make soup on Super Bowl Sunday, here is one of my favorite soup recipes from a cookbook I use all the time, Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons by Nava Atlas.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Greens
6 Servings

2 T canola oil or soy margarine
1 c chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 c water
1.5 c red lentils, rinsed (I use brown lentils)
2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (I use yams)
1 t grated fresh ginger
2 t good quality curry powder or garam masala, more or less to taste
1/2 t ground coriander
1/4 t each cinnamon and nutmeg
1 6-oz. bunch Swiss chard, escarole or mustard greens
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Heat the oil or margarine in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the water, lentils, sweet potatoes, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, until the lentils are mushy and the potatoes are done, about 20 to 25 minutes.

In the meantime, wash the greens, remove their thick mid-ribs, then slice them into narrow shreds about 2 inches long. Stir into the soup along with the lime juice. If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency with a small amount of water.

Continue to simmer gently until the greens are just done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve at once, or let the soup stand for an hour or two, then heat through as needed.

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