Stormy Red Lentil Soup

Today we have one of the biggest and longest storms we have had for many many years here in Denmark. All the TV channels report from the storm, the police advice everyone to stay indoor and one person has already been reported dead 😦 We had a hurricane back in October where three people lost their lives but it only lasted a few hours, whereas the storm today will last up to 24 hours. At the moment all bridges has been closed, national trains has stopped all traffic and some of the airports has cancelled all traffic for the rest of the day….

So what to do on a #do#not#leave#the#house#not#even#to#go#buy#groceries?? Well, I have been doing many things, some more interesting than others. First I have been preparing for tomorrow where we are going to make lots of beef jerky and one of my favorite christmas dishes: pheasant paté :-). Then I have played with some 100% chocolate and condensed milk, trying to make truffles – that did not go well (but it tasted fabulous). After that I decided to make soup for dinner, opened the kitchen cabinets and found a bag of red lentil – so it was an easy choice today as red lentil soup tastes delicious 🙂

While soup was cooking a made a few gloss paper christmas hearts (pictures will follow) and now I am enjoying a glass of Glenburgie-Glenlivet whisky and a piece of Amedei chocolate 🙂 And hopefully Chris will come home from work in a few hours, so that I won’t have to sleep alone!

Bag to the soup…. I have tasted lentil soup many times before but never made it myself. It was easier than expected and it tasted so delicious that I called Chris all excited to let him know that I had just made a perfect soup 🙂 Hope that you will try the recipe and leave a comment wether you like it , love it or hate it!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 tbsp. butter

2 large onions

2 garlic cloves

1-2 red chili

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 large tomato

1 1/2 cup red lentils

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1/2 cup cream

1/3 cup red wine

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 bundle pea shoots

 

Chop onions, garlic cloves, chili and tomato finely (today I used my Nicer Dicer – the smallest step). Melt the butter in a sauce pan and sauté onions, garlic and chili for 4-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes and sauté for yet a few minutes.

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Add lentils, chicken stock and water, put the lid on the sauce pan and let cook on medium-low heat for 50-60 minutes. Stir occasionally to aviod burning.

Transfer the cook lentil soup to a stand blender and blend until smooth. Add milk, cream and red wine, blend again, taste and season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is cooking you can prepare the macadamia nuts. Chop the nuts roughly and roast them on a dry pan until the begin to take on color and release a nutty note.Stormy Red Lentil Soup 2_Fotor_Collage

Pour the soup into your prettiest soup plates and and garnish with pea shoots and roasted nuts or grated parmesan cheese and nuts – both testes wonderful 🙂Stormy Red Lentil Soup 3_Fotor_Collage

Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

Soup

1 tbsp. butter

2 large onions

2 garlic cloves

1-2 red chili

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 large tomato

3.75 dl red lentils

1 liter chicken stock

2.5 dl water

2.5 dl milk

1.25 dl cream

0.8 dl red wine

Salt & pepper

 

Garnish

2.5 dl macadamia nuts

2.5 dl parmesan cheese, grated

1 bundle pea shoots

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Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread cookies is one of my favorite christmas cookies and I believe that this recipes gives you the best gingerbread cookies that you have ever tasted (everyone says so)!!
I got the recipe 10 years ago from a high school friend who’s mother had it. In Denmark we call it brunkager (brown cookies), but when googling gingerbread cookies, the recipes looks quite similar 🙂

You might think that it contains to many ingredients, is too complicated to make or has a too long resting time (1 week), but please try it before you decide not go make it again, cause I an quite sure that you will find that it is all worth it 🙂

If you consider to make the recipe in your stand mixer, PLEASE the sure that the motor is big enough to run a heavy dough through out the entire kneading time – and if you have Kitchen aid stand mixer I can already now say, from my own bad experiences, that it can NOT do it!! So use your hands instead – that way you will also burn a few calories while kneading (maybe I should wear my heart rate monitor next time I make this recipe, to establish how hard I work 🙂 )

Well…. enough about all my crazy ideas – jump to the kitchen and get started so that you and your family can enjoy these fabulous cookies in the christmas days.

 

Ingredients (300 small cookies)

2 1/5 cup margarine

2 1/2 cup sugar

4/5 cup syrup

8 cups flour

2 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 cup almonds

3/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped

4 tsp. potash

2 tbsp. water, cold

Melt margarine, sugar and syrup in a sauce pan at medium-low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir occasionally to avoid it from burning. Set the mixture aside to cool until it reached body temperature (use your little finger as a thermometer) and make sure that it doesn’t get to cold!

While the cooling you can prepare the remaining ingredients. Blanche the almonds, roast them on a dry pan for a few minutes until they begin to release their lovely nutty flavor. Let cool and chop finely (but don’t blend into flour).
Chop the candied orange peel if it wasn’t already chopped when you bought it.

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Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except potash, and mix well.
Combine potash and cold water and add to the dry ingredient mixture 1 minute before you plan to assemble the dough. Add the cooled margarine mixture to the flour and use a rubber spatula to fold together. When almost  combined, transfer the cookie dough to the kitchen table and knead thoroughly – approximately 10-15 minutes. The consistency of the cookie dough will stay the same, but the kneading process is very important as it divides all the seasoning and give an equal result to all the cookies.

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Cut the cookie dough into smaller pieces, cover with plastic wrap and fridge for 1-7 days (I alway bake 1/4 of the dough on the first day, and wait with the remaining to the seventh day).
Remove the cookie dough from the fridge a few hours before baking, to ensure that it is soft enough to roll out. Roll the dough out (approximately 0.1 inch thick) and cut the cookies with your favorite cookie cutters.

Bake on a piece of baking paper at 400F for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Eat the cookies immediately or store in an airtight container.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (300 small cookies)

500 g margarine

500 g sugar

2 dl syrup

1 kg flour

2 tsp. ground clove

2 tsp. ground cardamom

2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

100 g almonds

100 g candied orange peel

4 tsp. potash

2 tbsp. water, cold

 

Vanilla Wreath Cookies

Finally we reached December again and the christmas baking can begin 🙂 I just love baking christmas cookies, serve them for friend and family or wrap them in cellophane and use as a home made hostess gift.

Vanilla Wreath cookies is one of those cookies which I remember from visiting my grandparents around christmas, but it is actually the first time I have made them my self – and it was way easier than expected!
Some recipes call for a mincer to make vanilla wreaths, but I just used a piping bag (and my strong biceps 🙂 ) and I think that my vanilla wreaths is just as pretty as those made in the mincer 🙂

Which cookies do you bake for christmas??

I has been encouraged to participate in Bake Fest which is a monthly event created by Cooks Joy and has run for approximately two years now. I didn’t consider for many seconds as I love to share recipes and get inspired by others recipes. Moreover, it creates worldwide fellowship of bloggers which can learn so much from different food cultures all over the world 🙂

This month host is Lail who has the blog with a spin.

Bake Fest

Ingredients (60 cookies)

1 vanilla pod, seeds

1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg (or 1 1/2 medium)

2 1/4 cup flour

3 oz. almond flour (grounded almonds)

 

Combine vanilla seeds, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until evenly combined. Add the egg and beat again until combined. Finally add flour and almond flour and beat for a few seconds. Turn the cookie dough onto the kitchen table and knead until smooth.

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Add the cookies dough to a solid quality piping bag with a star-shaped pipe.  Press the dough in circles (2-inch in diameter) on a piece of baking paper and bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden.vanilla wreaths 2_Fotor_Collage

Let cool in a wire rack and store in air tight cookie container or serve immediately while baking another portion 🙂

vanilla wreaths 8

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (60 cookies)

1 vanilla pod, seeds

225 g butter, room temperature

200 g sugar

1 large egg (or 1 1/2 medium eggs)

280 g flour

85 g almond flour

Danish Rye Bread

Many of you readers might have heard about nordic rye bread but never tasted it, as it is almost impossible to obtain in other than the nordic/scandinavian countries. The Danish rye bread differs from other rye bread types as it is less sweet and less dark.
In Denmark we eat it for lunch as an open sandwich with cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads and compared to bread made with wheat flour it is much more dense.

Foreigners (not Danes) often finds it too dense and heavy, but served the right way as a good quality open sandwich we believe that almost every one will love it 🙂

The sour dough used in this recipe is more than 100 years old and keeps living and raising our rye bread to perfection, but when making the bread for the first time you will either have to buy the sour dough or make it from scratch (1/2 cup wheat flour, 1/2 cup rye flour and 1 cup water; combine and let rest on the kitchen table for 4-5 days; stir once a day).

Hope that all you foreigners will give this nordic recipe a change and in times we will definitely add pictures of home made open sandwiches as we make them in Denmark 🙂

 

Ingredients (1 bread)

Day 1

4 cups rye flour

1 1/3 cup beer

1 4/5 cup water

3 tbsp. sour dough

 

Day 2

4 cups cracked rye kernels

2/5 water

4/5 cup water, boiling

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

 

Day 1

Combine rye flour with beer and 1 4/5 cup water in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add sour dough and stir until evenly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside on the kitchen table for 15 – 20 hours.

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Day 2

Place cracked rye kernels in a separate mixing bowl and add the boiling water. Stir until the kernels have absorbed all the water and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Pour chia seeds, sunflower seeds, salt and the remaining water into the raised batter and fold gently with a rubber spatula to combine. Then add the soaked kernels one cup at a time and gently fold again.

Take 3 tbsp. of the combined rye bread batter and put it in a airtight container and fridge until next time you are baking rye bread (preferably no longer than two week – we eat one bread a week, so it is no problem for us to use the sour dough 🙂 ).
Place the remaining rye bread batter in a greased loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and let raise until it reaches the edge of the loaf pan. Danish Rye Bread 2_Fotor_Collage

Bake the raised rye bread at 400F for 90 minutes (remember to remove the plastic wrap before putting the bread in the oven).

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Remove the baked rye bread from the loaf pan, cover it in a tea towel and let rest on a wire rack for at least 5 hours or until completely cooled. To soften the crust, you can store the bread in a plastic bag for up to 8 days at room temperature.

Danish Rye Bread 16Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredients (1 bread)

Day 1

550 g rye flour

1 beer

4.5 + 1 dl water

3 tbsp. sour dough

 

Day 2

600 g cracked rye kernels

2 dl water, boiling

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. chia seeds

150 g sunflower seeds