Clearly Linz and I love soup. This is the third week in a row with a soup centered post. I think Lindsey and I are just very into seasonal cooking and soup falls right into winter cooking. Another thing I have recently fallen in love with is lentil. I seriously had no idea how easy and versatile they are to cook with.
French Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 1 large shallot, finely diced
- 1 small celery stalk, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and whole
- 5 stems thyme
- 3/4 cup du Puy lentils
- 3/4 cup regular lentils
- 8 cups liquid (water or vegetable stock or a mixture of the two)
- Note: Be sure to rinse your lentils, and check for any stones.
1) Melt the butter in a stock pot, add the carrot, shallot, celery, and garlic, and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes.
2) Add the lentils, thyme, and stock or water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the soup, and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
3) I like to blend part of the soup to slightly thicken it, but that is up to taste. If so, remove the thyme stems and the whole garlic cloves and discard, and use an immersion blender until desired consistency is reached.
I found this recipe over at Serious Eats. I modified it by getting rid of the bacon and using mushroom for the liquid to add a little extra depth of flavor. I also could not find du Puy lentils, so I used multi-colored lentils which worked great.
For dessert I tried out one of Martha Stewarts recipes for Apple Custard Pie. Martha claims finding kataifi is easy, four stores around Portland tell me otherwise. I improvised and used regular phyllo dough and shredded it myself. It was thicker than I think kataifi would have been, but still tasty. I used one package and if I were to do this again I would use about 1/2 to 2/3 of a package. I would also add more apples as there was not nearly enough to put on top of the pie.
Apple Custard Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
- 3 ounces frozen kataifi (shredded phyllo, amazon.com) , thawed (1 cup packed)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- FOR THE CARAMELIZED APPLES
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 5 baking apples, such as Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1/4 cup sugar
- FOR THE CARAMEL
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- FOR THE CUSTARD
- 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Arrange a 1/2-inch-thick layer of kataifi into the bottom and up and over the sides of a 9-inch pie plate (it will shrink during baking); brush all over with melted butter. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the caramelized apples: Melt butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add apple wedges and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and caramelized, about 40 minutes. Transfer apples to a medium bowl.
- Make the caramel: Add sugar to skillet. Cook over high heat until sugar dissolves and turns medium amber. Remove skillet from heat. Slowly and carefully stir in cream (it will bubble and steam as you add it).
- Cover bottom of crust with 3/4 cup caramelized apples. Drizzle apples with 2 tablespoons caramel.
- Make the custard: Whisk to gether egg and yolk in a medium bowl. Bring milk, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add semolina flour, whisking constantly, until mixture starts to bubble, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk one third of the semolina mixture into egg mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick, about 30 seconds.
- Pour custard over caramelized apples into crust. Let stand until set, about 1 hour. Top with remaining caramelized apples just before serving. Drizzle top of pie with some caramel (reheat if needed). Serve immediately.
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