The Kid is sick and like a dog, this kid is stoic. He always says he is feeling okay, never wants to stay home from school and actually refuses my offers of a day in bed because there is something wrong with him. What kind of weirdo doesn't jump at a sick day from school? Clearly he did not get the memo on how to deal with the mansick. To be perfectly honest, if I didn't watch this kid spring from my loins with my own eyes I would make myself take a maternity test.
A sick young man requires a nourishing soup that will be smooth enough that it won't hurt his delicate, froggy throat on the way day but bright and tasty enough to tempt his failing taste buds. He lives for miso soup so I make him cups of miso like I make him cups of tea but there needed to be a soup with a bit more substance. This lemony, thin soup is perfect for these cold weather, feeling too crappy to even want to eat the delicious lunch my mother packed me days. The mix of preserved lemon with fresh lemon juice really brighten up what can be a bit of a heavier soup and the large percentage of broth to lentils keeps it a bit on the thinner side. Turmeric is thought to aid in fighting off infection, ginger helps get rid of nose and throat congestion and cumin is also considered to help in fighting off a cold. Basically this combo is to Ayurveda what chicken soup is to a Jewish grandmother. I throw in a couple extra veggies that he thinks he doesn't like just to make it a bit more nutritious and we are off to the races.
This recipe fills my 5.3 litre (5.5 quart) pot so under servings, file "a lot"
Lemony Red Lentil Soup
2 tbls olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1" piece of ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
rind of 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped (I use very small lemons so it's probably about 1 tbls of rind)
1 japanese eggplant, finely diced
1 zucchini, finely diced
1 tbls cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
8 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
juice of two lemons
handful of chopped cilantro
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy stock pot over medium heat.
Saute the celery and carrot for about five minutes before adding the ginger, garlic and jalapeno. Saute for another few minutes and then throw in the preserved lemon, eggplant and zucchini for another few minutes of cooking. Add in the cumin, turmeric and coriander, mix into the vegetables thoroughly and then pour in the stock and the lentils. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium low, put on the cover and simmer for about 25 or 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are nice and tender.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the soup cool a bit before you remove it to a blender to puree lightly. You can also just use an immersion blender right in the pot. It's up to you how smooth you make it - I like to leave a little bit of texture. After you blend it, add the juice of two lemons, check for salt and add more if it's needed, add a few grinds of black pepper and throw in the cilantro.