Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'm Improving

I'm cooking more these days and it shows: I'm improving (and improvising).

Two nights ago, I botched a red lentil and Swiss chard soup from Ottolenghi (see post "Ottolenghi - An Exciting Cookbook" of February 6, 2010). I couldn't figure out how this delicious-sounding recipe could be so awful until I realized that I had used 6 cups, rather than 6 pints, of water. No wonder the soup wasn't soup and also didn't taste right. Rather than tossing the icky mess, I put it in the fridge and decided to either make lentil cakes or to reconstitute it as soup. Today, I made it into soup, adding lots of water and chicken broth, and serving it with croutons and prosciutto chips (an idea I stole from Clos des Gourmets in Paris, where I had a green lentil soup accompanied by bellota chips, a riff on the classic lentil soup with ham).

It turned out to be delicious, reaffirming my faith in Ottolenghi, but also giving me a jolt of satisfaction for diagnosing and resolving a problem and making something good out of it.

Bobby Jay

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