Lentil Soup!

When we decided to become vegetarian here, it really started to challenge my way of thinking for cooking dinner.  We can’t have pasta every night, so I am forced to get creative and seek out new, interesting ingredients and recipes.  This is one of those recipes!

I tried it once, after finding it on Tastespotting and Dave thought it was delicious.  He raved about it constantly, and asked me to make it again in the future.  A very good sign from my hubby!  I also enjoyed it – it’s really easy, quick, and has really great flavor! It’s also a recipe that is good for those nights where I don’t have anything planned, because I always have the ingredients on hand in my pantry.

I discovered the original recipe here at Souvlaki for the Soul and knew that I had to give it a try.  So glad I did!  This has become a staple in our house – I think I make it weekly.  Dave likes things spicy, so I always add red pepper flakes, and then I just use sour cream on mine to cool it down! Serve with some Pappadums and you have a nice warm, comforting meal 🙂 Hope you try this! Enjoy!

RECIPE FOR LENTIL SOUP WITH CHICKPEAS AND QUINOA

(From Peter G of Souvlaki for the Soul website)

My changes/omits are in italics 🙂

  • 1/2 a red onion diced (I used a yellow onion)
  • A splash of sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • a small knob of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, chillies and turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves (I omitted this)
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 2-3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 can of chickpeas aka garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (I omitted this too)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thick yogurt (Or sour cream, my fave) and chopped coriander to garnish
  • squeeze of lime juice
  1. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed saucepan and fry off the onions on a medium heat (I cook until translucent).
  2. Add the ground spices and stir until it becomes aromatic.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir again for a few minutes.
  4. Add the red lentils and toss in the spice mixture for one minute.
  5. Add the chicken or veggie stock and cook on high heat till it comes to a rapid boil.
  6. Lower the heat and let the ingredients simmer for about 10-15 mins. Season to taste.
  7. Remove from the heat and blend using a stab blender or do it manually using a regular blender (I use a food processor). (If it gets too much like dhal/paste, just have some extra veggie broth on hand to add at the end!)
  8. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and let it simmer for another 5 mins. (I like to add the chickpeas before processing – but you can do it either way).
  9. Take off the heat and stir through the cooked quinoa.
  10. Squeeze a little lime juice.
  11. Garnish with a dollop of thick yogurt and chopped coriander.

Birthday Weekend Celebration – Part 1

My birthday fell on a Friday this year, and as it turned out, I got to have a weekend long birthday party celebration!  My husband was in charge of planning everything, and I happily left it all up to him to decide what the plans were! We both went back and forth about inviting friends to the dinner, and I assumed it would just be the two of us, since that seemed to be the decision we came to.

We decided to do an overnight stay at the W Hotel here in Doha, since we had always wanted to check it out, with pre-dinner drinks at Crystal Lounge, then dinner at Spice Market.  So we set everything up, and we headed to the W on my birthday, to check in as soon as we could, at 3 PM.  We checked in to our room on the 14th floor and just relaxed in the comfy surroundings, watching some tv and just taking it easy.

Here’s a picture of our room, and the view!

Around 5ish, we started to shower and get ready to head down stairs for drinks. It was fun, I got all dressed up in one of my favorite Ann Taylor dresses, did my hair and makeup, and Dave got up fancied up in his best suit too 🙂 We looked like a sharp couple! (Or at least I thought so!)

The Crystal Lounge is a cocktail/champagne bar that we’d heard about but never been to.  So we took the elevator to the Mezzanine floor where it was located, and headed to the bar.  As we walked in, the entrance was really dark, and there were these bright blue lights along the entrance way.  As we walked in, Dave started guiding me towards a table, and completely oblivious, I was walking towards a 2 person table, when all the sudden I look up and see all of our friends!! I just looked at Dave, and was totally surprised.  (I think I may have told him I hated him…in the nicest way possible!)

It was so thoughtful of him to organize all our friends to surprise me for drinks and dinner 🙂 He is so good at surprising me, no many how possible clues there may have been! 😛

Dinner at Spice Market was delicious, and there was a guy playing piano who sang all sorts of elevator music songs, and then all the sudden, he started playing Happy Birthday, and out comes a cake with a candle and Dave said he hadn’t organized that part! So I got two desserts – because neither of us knew it was coming. Perfect way to end my birthday dinner!

Our stay at the W was really awesome, we had a room on the 14th floor, and it had a great view of the Gulf, and our old apartment building where we used to live 😛 We had breakfast in the morning, and then headed straight to the Four Seasons, to drop me off for my spa day! 🙂

Spa Day is Part Two…coming soon!