September 23, 2010
Thursday is the pea soup day in Finland, habit inherited from our neighbor Sweden when the country still belonged to the Swedish Realm. The tradition might have come in the Christian era, as a preparation for fasting on Friday.
I wanted to make pea soup today but I wasn’t feeling so well ( I am having this upset stomach since yesterday night ). Due to the heaviness of the pea soup meal I thought it is a better idea to skip it and have a lighter soup instead.
This soup I made today was a success. Mr. mies liked a lot and the girls gobbled two portions of it. Pure vegetables only ^_^ ( score! )
Red lentils and carrots soup
Finnish ingredients I used in parentheses.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 5 medium carrots, chopped
- one big onion, chopped
- one garlic clove, peeled
- 1 l vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 dl dried red lentils ( dl is the standard measure used in Finland. About 3/4 cup )
- salt and white pepper – as per taste
- 2 dl cream ( ruokakerma ) – 1 dl for the soup and 1 dl to serve
- few drops of lemon juice
- chopped parsley to serve
Soak the lentils before chopping the vegetables. Heat oil in a big pan, add the carrots, onion and cook until lightly browned and tender. Drain the lentils and let dry in a sieve.
Add the vegetable broth, the garlic ( yes, the whole garlic, it will be removed in the end ) and let the carrots cook , about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cook 10 minutes until soft.
Remove the garlic and discard. Puree the soup using a blender ( I used a hand blender straight to the pan ), add 1 dl of cream and let heat (but not boil ). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add few drops of lemon juice to the remaining cream ( it won’t curd, just get a bit tangy ).
Before serving , pour a swirl of the lemon cream and sprinkle parsley on top. ( I used dried parsley but the fresher the better )
My notes about the recipe:
Since my stomach is sensitive at the moment, I didn’t add much of any spices. I suggest to add grated ginger or cumin for a flavor kick. Plain yogurt is a good substitute for the cream on top but I didn’t have it home.
You can omit the cream from the whole recipe. I added because I had it in fridge and I wanted to “smooth” the taste to make the soup appealing to the kids too.