I love challenges, especially when they are related to food. There is a food event that every month challenges the participants to get creative. This event is the Royal Foodie Joust. Every month a bunch of foodies try to come up with the best recipe using three ingredients chosen by the previous month’s winner. It can get very challenging because sometimes the ingredients don’t seem to match.
That’s what I thought this month. This is the second time I participated in the event and it took me weeks to decide what I was going to prepare. Dharm, last month’s winner, chose cinnamon, lentils and eggplant as the ingredients for this month’s challenge. I love cinnamon and my mom used to make lentil soup, but eggplant… I had never had eggplant before. I wasn’t even sure what they tasted like. So after so much deliberation and research this is what I came up with.
I am not a big fan of lentils, but this recipe was tasty, the cinnamon gave it a really great twist in flavor. My mom used to serve lentil soup with fried plantains. The fried eggplant was a nice touch, though it wasn’t as sweet as plantain. I am still not sure what flavor eggplant is supposed to be. I guess I need to make something different to bring its flavor out. But for now I have enough lentils and eggplant for several days. I don’t think I will be making them again anytime soon.
If you want to participate in this food event, visit Jenn’s (The leftover Queen) forum and sign up. We never know what the next ingredients will be and what we are going to do with them.
- **Soup Ingredients:
- •½ cup chopped bacon
- •1 onion, finely chopped
- •1 large carrot, finely chopped
- •2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- •1 lb lentils
- •1 cup diced tomatoes
- •½ tsp cumin
- •2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- •2 cinnamon sticks
- •salt and pepper to taste
- **Eggplant Ingredients:
- •1 eggplant, peeled and cut in long slices
- •3 eggs, beaten
- •1 cup flour
- •vegetable oil
- **Soup Preparation:
- In a large pot, fry bacon until crisp.
- Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté in bacon fat until the onion turns translucent.
- Add lentils, tomatoes, cumin, chicken broth and cinnamon sticks and stir.
- Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Adjust seasoning.
- Using a blender or a stick blender puree to the desire consistency.
- Serve with fried eggplant, sour cream and chopped parsley.
- **Eggplant Preparation:
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Beat eggs in a large bowl.
- Place flour in a large, flat dish.
- Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in the flour and place them in hot oil.
- Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown, each side.
- Drain on paper towels.
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