Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 11:23 pm

The Cooking Chronicles: One Bowl Meals

Though it’s not exactly the same thing, my penchant for one pot meals extends to one bowl meals as well, as generally, for the kinds of recipes I am drawn to, means comfort food. For me, it’s what I want to look forward to eating at the end of a long day.

Black Lentil Soup

In Luisa’s introduction to Rajat Parr’s black lentil soup, she mentions that her desire to use up black Beluga lentils was what led her to the recipe in the first place. For us, it was the opposite – we had to scour the city to find black lentils, let alone beluga lentils.

We found urad lentils at the Spice Centre on the south side, and given they were the only black lentils we had seen thus far, we figured it was close enough. They cooked up to taste like a cross between lentils and beans – the small pods burst open and were chewy in nature. Paired with the tomato-based broth and a handful of Indian spices, it was a very tasty soup. I would recommend adding a few chopped tomatoes for texture and sweetness (it helped balance out the spice), and should have heeded Luisa’s advice in pureeing half of the soup to thicken it out.

Black Lentil Soup

Black lentil soup

But all in all, a great dish ideal for our cold nights.

Potato and Kale Hash

When I told Mack that we were having potato and kale hash (loosely based on this recipe) for dinner, he asked what made it different from the poached eggs over warm lentil salad. There were a few key differences – potatoes instead of lentils, a chicken broth-based sauce instead of a red wine vinaigrette – but really, it is one of those dishes that can be modified based on what you have on hand, or to taste.

We ended up with a base of potatoes from Erdmann’s, onions from Kuhlmann’s, red pepper from Doef’s and kale. We threw in some roasted pork we had in the fridge (though a bit of bacon, or shredded chicken would have worked just as well), simmered the mixture in a bit of chicken stock, and topped it all off with poached eggs from Sunshine Organic.

Potato and Kale Hash

Potato and kale hash

The leafy kale stood its ground against the softened potatoes and sweet peppers, and I was surprised at how much flavour could be extracted from just a bit of stock. It was a surprisingly satisfying dish that ended up being much more than the sum of its parts. We will be making this again!

  • Katy

    I’ve seen black beluga lentils at Bulk Barn a number of times

  • http://www.onlyhereforthefood.ca/ Sharon

    Thanks for the heads up, Katy! I have to say, “scour” really meant checking The Italian Centre, Superstore, Save-On and the Spice Centre. Then I gave up!