This morning I still felt like crap so started downing cup after cup of hot tea and honey. It's amazing how much better that works than just drinking water. Hydration + sedation = tea. It helped, but was it going to be enough to keep whatever it was at bay? (H1N1? Maybe? But I've been using hand sanitizer after the gym and the subway!)
I thought about what I should try to eat and soup seemed the perfect choice. I almost had everything I needed to make a homemade chicken soup but soon realized that the only chicken I had was over a week old and I didn't need to add food poisoning to my list of illnesses. I did have everything to make a spicy curry soup (which first appeared in The Ski House Cookbook) so I got off the couch and went to work.
This soup cooks up really fast which is a benefit to using lentils over other beans. And since I was needing extra relief from whatever was ailing me, I added extra spices in hopes that it would somehow knock my so-called illness out of my head. I have to say, it really helped. I actually managed to shower to meet some friends at the movies and I'm feeling quite a bit better. Although I'm still drinking tea and taking vitamin C and zinc, I'm hopeful that, unlike after midterms in college, I will not be home bound and unable to get out of bed. I've got pies to bake. And eat!
Curried Red Lentil Soup
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more)
2 celery ribs, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 - 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (depending on your preference)
1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a large pot with the broth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the onion and cayenne. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 - 6 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, garlic, cumin, curry powder, and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vegetable mixture to the simmering lentils and cook for 25 - 30 minutes.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately. Serves about 6.