Spice up your Life!

Spicy red lentil soup

La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La
La La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La LaWhen You’re Feelin’ Sad And Low
We Will Take You Where You Gotta Go
Smiling Dancing Everything Is Free
All You Need Is Positivity

Colours Of The World
Spice Up Your Life
Every Boy And Every Girl
Spice Up Your Life
People Of The World
Spice Up Your Life
Aahh 

Slam Me To The Left
If You’re Havin’ A Good Time
Shake It To The Right
If You Know That You Feel Fine
Chicas To The Front
Huh Huh And Go Round

Slam Me To The Left
If You’re Havin’ A Good Time
Shake It To The Right
If You Know That You Feel Fine
Chicas To The Front
Huh Huh
Hi Ci Ja Hold Tight

La La La La La La La La La…
I don’t really believe when The Spice Girls sang this song they were singing about red lentils but I don’t care, so I included it…

I also never liked The Spice Girls but I’m totally in love with this soup!
 
 I love lentils! My mum makes the most delish lentil soup and she loves the fact that all her grandchildren love it too! My daughter can’t get enough of it. My mum, however, never uses red lentils. But I do! I use them with lamb shanks and mostly in stews/casseroles.

Some nights I have very strange dreams – I dream that I’m eating a certain food/meal and when I wake up I’m obsessed with this food until I get around to making it. We were having a conversation at work on Monday about using red lentils in a soup – in fact I think my friend was having some for lunch that day. That night I dreamt about red lentil soup – yeah, I know – kinky!  The urge to make red lentil soup for dinner that night was overwhelming.

I’m having left over red lentil soup today for lunch – cannot wait – this stuff is good so go on – Spice up your Life! 🙂

Ingredients

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 – 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1- 2 green chillies  (optional for you and a must for me)
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste or 1 can diced tomatoes
  • coriander

Method

  1. Pour vegetable stock and water into a pot and set aside.
  2. Peel and grate ginger and set aside.
  3. Chop onion, garlic, red capsicum, and tomatoes, saute on medium heat in a pot, with 2 tbsp olive oil.  Add ginger and chili. When vegetables are soft, add 2 cups stock/water mixture to the pot and bring to the boil then add the lentils. Add the spices (except salt) and the rest of the stock and simmer until lentils are tender and soup has thickened. (around 25 mins)
  4.  Turn down to low heat and allow the flavours to develop for a further 10 mins. At the end of the cooking time, add salt.
  5. Use a stick blender to puree the soup or you can use a stand blender.
  6. Remove from heat and garnish with paprika and coriander and serve with a huge chunk of great bread with loads of butter! That’s what I did!
Amazing colour! I just wanted to stare at it all night!

Amazing colour! I just wanted to stare at it all night!

Pino Gris! My Prawn Balls are on Fire!

Deep Fried Prawn Balls

Yesterday I went to the Yarra Valley to visit a few wineries with my school teacher girlie friends. No, it’s not enough that we see each other every working day, we actually have other things in common…specifically….wine and food!

It was a stunning day in Melbourne…warm and sunny…just the perfect day for visiting wineries. Tasted lots of wine and I really was all in a tizzy…so much to buy. We bought some lovely wine and ate some wonderful food at Domain Chandon (didn’t do the wine tasting there…charging $5…blah!…but we ate lunch there and the pork belly was wonderful as was the view!

My great holiday continued today, as I spent the day with my bff…we have been friends since the age of 12 and as we are considerably older than that now, it’s safe to say that bff means just that for us…we’ve known each other longer than we haven’t known each other…I adore her dearly and we only live a street away from each other so we do see each other quite regularly but we never seem to connect over the holidays…except for these ones!

Last night I dreamt about the episode in one of Nigellas’ series where she made prawn cakes/balls for her friend that comes to visit and as I knew my best friend was coming over so we could spend the morning meat shopping, I knew that I needed to buy some great prawns and make these prawn balls for my bestie!

Seriously, the noises she made whilst eating them would have made my neighbours believe that we were more than ‘just friends’ and that my handsome man either had something to worry about, or was indeed, the luckiest man alive!

Being the great friend she is, she brought around some crisp, chilled Pino Gris and we ate these prawn balls, with a homemade very chilli aioli (spicy man!) with lime and vietnamese mint and downed that bottle…all this at around 11:30 am…hot outside in Melbourne today…just so happy to be on holidays and loving life. It’s absolutely true that I am a much nicer person to be around when I’m on holidays 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 x glove of garlic
  • two spring onions
  • 250g of raw prawns
  • 50g flour
  • Chinese Cooking Wine
  • Sesame Oil (just a splash)
  • Vietnamese Mint (chopped)
  • Coriander (chopped)
  • veg oil for frying
  • lime quarters for garnish

Method

  1. Into a food processor put the Garlic and roughly chopped spring onions, vietnamese mint and coriander and blitz.
  2. Add prawns and flour with a splosh of Chinese Cooking Wine and Sesame Oil, and blitz again.
  3. Leave to rest in fridge for at least 10 minutes before deep fat frying.
  4. Fry until golden brown. Enjoy.
  5. Serve with chilli and lime aioli and fresh Vietnamese Mint

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burn Baby Burn!

Eggs In Purgatory

I love the name of this!

I have a confession to make…I have a ‘thing’ for Nigella Lawson! Apart from being ridiculously beautiful, she is a damn fine food writer and cook. I don’t always use her recipes but am a little obsessed with watching her shows…love the way she wears heels when she cooks! I also love how she knows Anthony Bourdain (another of my little obsessions) well enough to call him Tony…

Last night I was excited to see the first episode of her new series where she made “eggs in purgatory.” Now, this is Italian in origin but my mum used to make something very similar to this for us when we were kids. I, in turn made it for my daughter when she was little but of course as my daughter is now in her late teens, she thinks it looks like spew and won’t touch it…(and yet she eats that horrid store bought chicken and sweet corn ‘soup’)…where did I go wrong?

I dreamt about this dish last night, so of course my man and I had to have it for dinner. Nigella is right about one thing…great as a hangover cure!

Not much to it really just heat a pan with olive oil and add grated garlic (lots of it), and as much chilli as you can handle (I can handle lots). Nigella used tinned tomatoes but I used fresh, only because I had a huge amount of them in the fridge that needed to be used, otherwise use 2 tins of tomatoes. Wait for all this to bubble and reduce a little, then crack as many eggs as you like into the pan. I used 4 eggs as there were two of us eating this. Top the whole thing with freshly grated parmesan (please don’t use that pre packed stuff that smells like smelly socks!) and ground pepper and pop the lid on the pan in order for the eggs to poach.

I had popped some great bread smeared with garlic oil under the grill and we were done. We ate right out of the pan, dunking the bread into the still runny egg yolk, mopping up all the wonderful tomato. Yes, it was hot and I burnt the roof of my mouth but my chilled glass of vodka and pomegranate juice helped soothe and ease the pain.

The beauty of this dish is that you can make it for one, two or many more people, just increase/decrease the amount of tomatoes and eggs according to the amount you are feeding.

The sun was out today and I’m feeling pretty good 🙂

Did I mention that I love being on holidays?