Politiek Correcte Dutch Red Lentil Soup
I was involved in a soup throwdown with my good friend John Giuffo. He’s kind of living the dream: travelling the world, eating at the best places, cooking like a boss and writing about it at Forbes.com. He was bringing his A game and making Snert. I had to counter his incredible traditional Dutch split pea soup, and I (as pretentious chefs say) took my inspiration from New Amsterdam.
Here’s my Food Network Audition:
I tried to represent The New Netherlands with Indonesian tempeh, Indian lentils, African yams, Turkish Urfa pepper, Moroccan cumin, Dutch Gouda and dehydrated kale that looks like little nuggets of marijuana.
4 T butter (We’re not messing around. We have a challenge to win.)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
6 stalks of celery, rough chopped
1 lb. smoked tempeh, chopped
2 yams, peeled and cubed
1 lb. dried red lentils
½ C tomato paste
2 T Cumin
2 T Adobo
1 T Smoked paprika
1 T dried thyme
8 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
¼ cup heavy cream
½ C almond slivers, toasted (15 minutes at 350F)
1 t truffle oil
Salt and Urfa Pepper
1 C smoked Gouda, shredded
Kale chips (Kale + olive oil + salt + a 400F oven until crispy)
Melt the butter in the largest stock/soup pot you have.
Add the onion, celery, tempeh, carrot, yams and adobo. Stir to coat the veg with the butter and adobo. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Add the lentils, tomato paste, cumin, paprika and thyme. Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the broth and water. Turn the heat to high. Bring to a roaring boil, cover then lower the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 45 minutes.
Puree the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender or a food processor—whatever you use to puree things, until it looks like baby food.
Stir ½ of the Gouda and the heavy cream into the hot soup until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix the almond slivers with the truffle oil and a pinch of salt.
To serve: ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with a pinch of Urfa pepper (or freshly ground pepper if you didn’t run out and buy Urfa Biber like I suggested last month), a tsp of truffle almonds, a pinch of Gouda and some crumbled kale chips.