Last week, Missy from thyme, and everything else posted a very scrumptious sounding rhubarb pie with cardamom recipe. It got me thinking about rhubarb and how I rarely use it in cooking or baking. My grandmother used to bake a yummy rhubarb cake when I was a kid. I hope my sister has the recipe!
After reading Missy’s post, I was determined to pick up some fresh rhubarb at the market. Rhubarb is really a very tart vegetable, but mostly used in baked goods like cobblers, cakes and pies or cooked into a compote by itself or in combination with other fruits. I wasn’t sure what to make with it, so I opened up my fantastic German vegetarian cookbook in search of a tasty rhubarb recipe.
When I came across this spicy red lentil soup recipe seasoned with some curry powder and harissa and also called for a pound of rhubarb to be added, I knew I had to try it. The combination of flavors sounded intriguing. The Zendog was skeptical at first, but ended up loving this soup! Next time I go back to the grocery store I will buy some more rhubarb to make this soup again, and perhaps a German rhubarb cake.
Here’s the recipe for the soup:
In a heavy soup pot sauté 2 small sliced onions in a little olive oil. When the onions are starting to get soft sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder over the onions and cook until everything is fragrant and lightly colored. Rinse and drain about 3/4 of a cup of red lentils and add them to the sautéed onions.
Next, add 5 cups of water or vegetable broth and bring the soup to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender.
In the meantime wash, trim and cut 1 pound of rhubarb into small chunks. Add it to the soup and simmer another 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, thin it out with a little extra broth.
Season the soup with a pinch or two of sea salt, 1 to 2 tablespoons of harissa (North African/Arabian chili paste available in a tube or jar), 2 tablespoons sugar and some chopped fresh basil. Taste, adjust seasonings and don’t forget to add a dollop of yoghurt (dairy or non-dairy) to your bowl! That yoghurt really helps tie it all together!