IN PREPARING FOR TODAY'S SNOWSTORM, I got excited not only about taking some more fun shots of a snowy Central Park for my photo blog, but afterwards being able to shop at a mostly empty Fairway supermarket to quickly get together the ingredients to make a very homey red lentil soup.
Having to substitute bone-in ham shanks for the ham hocks the short staff hadn't stocked yet, and accepting the container of quick-cooking dried red lentils as a substitute for the ones I'd have to otherwise soak for hours and then cook, I made my way home with some fresh basil as well and within 90 minutes, was able to sear of cut-up ham shanks in sesame oil, sweat out some finely minced and dices garlic and onion, par-boil the pork and aromatics in vegetable broth with smoked paprika, turmeric, and ground mustard.
the dried red lentils and chopped fresh basil were thrown in the simmering pot of stock for just under 20 minutes before being removed from the heat, and ladled into a bowl topped with just-cooked rice.
And I was happy to finally take the stinging chill of a morning in sub-freezing temperatures with a bowl tongue-tickling, rib-sticking nostalgia evocative of both a tasty, porky, aromatic soup and a hearty, flavorful, filling bowl of rice & beans.
This turned out to be my best soup ever, and an ideal way to chill out while taking the chill off.
Bun Apple Tea!
RED LENTIL SOUP | with Bone-In Ham Shanks, Fresh Basil, Rice