Tuesday, September 29, 2009

French Lentil & Baba Ganooooooooush

As the lentils simmered Alayna used plumber's clay to fix her vase and I highlighted special lines in Jack London's biography I had earmarked not having a pen at the time. The soup smelled wonderful. Zizi couldn't stop waiting for shadows to move on the wall.

It smells like autumn now. This is good. I'm wearing two sweaters right now. Which is excessive but the room is chilly.

While the soup simmered Alayna and I went through her craft box. Thick oils and sandpaper, somewhere. I paged through her sketchbook from France. A drawing I did from a rooftop in Fez drinking mint tea. A picture of the corner of my apartment over the art gallery. And a lot of hollowy trees. A letter never sent to a boy. Van Gogh's bedroom. I miss textures.

We started eating the baba ganoush before the soup was ready and it was wonderful. We drank ginger tea from the elephant mugs before that. I walked home 30 blocks and the sky was purple and blotted with clouds and it felt spooky like Halloween. I howled when I tripped over a rat running across the street.

This soup tastes like France and a little bit of fall. It's good.

Lentil Soup
(adapted from Mojdeh's mother, who took it from Martha, as in Stewart, that originally had elusive french lentils and escarole, neither of which we could find)
  • finely chop about four cloves of garlic and saute in olive oil
  • add a medium sized white onion, also chopped, and cook until almost translucent
  • add 3-4 medium sized carrots in bite sized pieces and cook covered for about five minutes
  • add 1.5 cups of lentils (green or french) and 3/4 cup of yellow split peas (or stub lentils for all... we were just going for color and then they all looked the same, but tasted delicious)
  • Add one large can of diced tomatoes and fill the pot with vegetable or chicken broth, adding 2-3 bay leaves and several sprigs of fresh thyme
  • bring to a simmer and cook covered for 40 min (to test, make sure the lentils aren't crunch in the middle)
  • turn the heat off the pot and stir in one bag of arugula, letting it wilt in
  • Serve!!!

Baba Ganooooush!
  • cut an eggplant in half lengthwise, stab it with a fork a few times, and bake is at 400 for about 45 minutes (when you cut it open and it's all mushy and brown instead of white, it's done)
  • let cool, then scrape insides of eggplant into a food processor, discarding skin.
  • add the juice from half a lemon, about a spoonful of tahini (make sure you stir it well before adding so it's not all clumpy), 2 cloves of garlic and some salt and blend until smooth
  • Serve!!!


  1. This posted on behalf of AJ Sabbagh

    Hi Soup Girls~
    Last night's soup sounds especially good to me, and I will be trying it soon. I want to pass along a small recipe hint from my Mother in law, the Arab. She said the eggplant for baba ganooj had to be roasted. She did it over an open flame on her gas stove for the modern version. That gives it a wonderfully smoky flavor and makes it very easy to slip off the skins after they are cooked. I've done it both ways, and roasting it really does make a difference, a tasty difference.
    Now I will await the oyster creation!

  2. Those tomatoes look radioactive they are so red!