While I am finishing my studies in Chinese Medicine, I work part time in a gourmet grocery/deli. Some may think this a rather humble vocation, but out of all my bitsy casual jobs, and even career-driven jobs, this one is in the top two. I love it because I’m surrounded by awesome food all day long. I get to talk to customers about their food ideas and ways to use our products, whether it be solicited or unsolicited. And that’s how I got the idea for this soup. A woman came to the register with red lentils and some pancetta I had just sliced for her, so I asked if she was using them together. Sure enough, yes she was. The recipe is pretty simple, so simple she told me in a 30 second conversation at the register. I love red lentils and the texture they create, so I resolved then and there that I’m going to make it, adding my own flare.
Archives For Soup
This morning I had Pearl Barley soup for breakfast. It’s not a first, in fact whenever I feel like my digestion is particularly sluggish – lately caused by many rich dinners out, with probably a few too many wines – I often will have soup for breakfast.
Soups are naturally easier to digest, and are a great way to get a bunch of healthy seasonal vegetables and herbs in one tasty shot. I’ve made this soup extra nutritious by adding immuno-protective shiitake mushrooms and kombu*. Plus they give the stock added flavour. I always keep them on hand for this reason.
I view my job here on foodiecure as a curator of healthy recipes. My favourite healthy recipes are based on what people have been eating for centuries. Our forebearers ate seasonal, simple and local. Laden with fresh, health promoting herbs achieves more than faddish superfood diets will. The clincher? Taste. Traditional cuisine never scrimps on taste.
To me, a bland diet is just going to create bland people. Look at how passionate the Italians are! And those Mexicans, well aren’t they just the happiest people living off the happiest food? Which brings me to the recipe of the moment.
You’d be forgiven for thinking a black bean soup is a bit humble. Actually, it happens to be one helluva tasty soup. It’s party in a bowl, make me feel good type of food. The trick is all in the preparation. The likes of Heston and Ferran also used common foods, to which they applied fancy preparation techniques that resulted in outstanding cuisine. Here, we downgrade the fancy a few notches and use the Mexican age old trick of charring and flavour layering, totally changing the flavour – and the joy – of the soup.
This recipe has been reproduced from the gorgeous Thomasina Miers‘ cookbook Wahaca Mexican Food at Home. Enjoy!