Saturday, November 5, 2016

Curried Lentil-Tomato Soup

For a couple of days I have thought about reducing my sugar intake.  I'm thinking of a plan of action, but I'm still hazy on the details.

I know that if I try to cut out all sugar for an extended period of time, I'll never be successful.  I'm thinking about eating a small amount a couple of times a week or only eating sugar on the weekends.

My fear is that I might go overboard on the days I eat sugar.  For example, instead of eating a couple of ounces of chocolate, I'll eat a couple of bars of chocolate.

I would be lying if I said I never ate a couple of bars of chocolate.  I have also eating an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream in one sitting.  That probably has close to 1,200 calories.  Whew!

It's just not about trying to loose weight either.   I would be much healthier if I ate less chocolate, ice cream, and sweet baked goods.  This time of year is a rough time to eat less sugar.  With the holidays, work parties, and other socializing events, it seems like desserts are everywhere.

Fortunately, I like healthy food too, like this delicious lentil soup.  I found the recipe for this soup on  It is supposed to be made in a slow-cooker, but I just made it in a pot.  I didn't add celery, used more carrots, and added chili flakes.  I also replaced the bacon with pancetta and the dry cherry with rice wine.

The ingredients are 4 ounces diced pancetta, 1 large onion, 4 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 cup dried lentils, 1 cup chopped carrots, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, 1/2 cup half-and-half, 2 tablespoon rice wine, and 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes.

I cooked the pancetta over medium heat in the pot.  I removed the pancetta when it was brown and crispy.  I left the rendered fat in the pot.

I chopped the onion and cooked it in drippings for a couple of minutes.  I added the garlic and sautéed it for another three to four minutes.

I added the carrots, lentils, chicken broth, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and the undrained cans of tomatoes.

I let the soup simmer for about and hour and a half.  It was covered for the first 70 minutes or so.  I stirred regularly.

After an hour and a half, I added the half-and-half and rice wine.  I let the soup simmer for another few minutes.

I served this soup with the crispy pancetta on top as garnish.

 This was a simple yet flavorful soup.  It was hearty and stuck to your ribs.

The spices were warm and enticing.  The soup is very creamy and smooth as the lentils and tomatoes breakdown.

 It was also thick and hearty.  The lentil gave the soup heft.

The pancetta was crispy and savory.  The flavor of the pancetta drippings spread into the rest of the soup.

It was satisfying, comforting, and delicious.

This soup was good.  It would be very welcome on a cold winter dry.  It was warming and substantial.

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