Spice It Up With Thomas Keller

This is going to sound like a pretty obvious statement, but I just tried a recipe from Thomas Keller’s ad hoc at home and it was awesome. I had a taste for some Indian flavors, so initially I thought of dahl, but then I came across Keller’s recipe for lentil and sweet potato soup. I had a ton of aging sweet potatoes in my larder, so it didn’t take much convincing.

Start by slowly rendering the fat from a lot of bacon in vegetable oil–I did 9 slices, chopped. After about 20 minutes, add chopped onion, carrots, and leeks. Also add curry powder, and here’s where I improvised, some cumin and garam masala. Cook the vegetables on low heat for 30 minutes and then add 8 cups chicken stock, a bag of lentils, and a sachet of bay leaf, peppercorns, thyme, and crushed garlic. Simmer 40 minutes. I skipped a few of Keller’s fussier steps, like making a parchment lid and removing the bacon for latter crisping and garnishing, but I did boil the sweet potatoes separately with another sachet. This allowed me to keep them from overcooking and disintegrating into the soup–and making it too sweet! Finish with a little red wine vinegar and cilantro.

What is striking about this soup is just how much flavor it has from the get-go. To think it will only get better and more intense! Rounding out this meal: Thai chicken and rice¬†from Saveur served with cucumber, chutney, and yogurt, and spinach sauteed with garlic and garam masala. And later in the week, I’ll roast come cauliflower with similar flavors. A great food week indeed!

This entry was posted in Cookbooks, Media, Recipes, Soups and tagged .

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