It’s Greek to me

One of the things I resolved to do when I came back from my visit to the States was to eat better: to take time to cook consciously and creatively, to have leftovers to bring into lunch, and to make sure I have something already prepared on the days I’m late coming home. I’ve been trying one new recipe a week, and one vegetarian recipe, but most weeks it seems like everything I’m doing is new. I noticed this weekend how I’ve become able to juggle certain measurements in my head: cups to grams to ounces—the result of thinking in English but working in metric. It’s beginning to feel like I’m starting to get a hang of this cooking thing. Some days, if my research feels like it hasn’t gotten anywhere, at least I can come home and cook a good meal. I’m still absolutely terrible, however, at guessing how long things will take.

Anyway, this week I’m beginning to repeat some of my recipe discoveries, so I thought I’d share one of my favorites. (I’d post a picture, but I didn’t take one. Sorry!)

Greek Fakes (lentil soup)

  • 8 ounces brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 pinch crushed dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook for 10 minutes, then drain lentils into a strainer.
  2. Dry saucepan, pour in olive oil, and place over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and carrot; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in lentils, 1 quart water, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the lentils have softened, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional water if the soup becomes too thick.
  4. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar.