Lentil Soup with Fragrant Spices

Tonight’s dinner: lentil soup and pork medallions with a pan sauce.  And it only took me 2.5 hours!

Before you start to question my cooking skills (or ask me if I had some sort of kitchen-on-fire mishap), allow me to explain.  The last few weeks have been a merry-go-round of “work work work,” “sick,” “Christmas party!” and “hungover.”  Today I started wrapping up a major project, and to celebrate, I came home early (5!) and took it slow in the kitchen.  I did a full mise, right down to measuring out spices–I think I used every prep bowl I own.  And by “prep bowls” I mean old Chobani yogurt cups, because I am elegant like that.  I did all the dishes before the soup even came to a simmer.  And then I sat down and ate it–slowly–by candlelight while reading a Bugialli book I bummed off my stepfather forever ago.

Agh, I almost forgot to tell you about the soup!  It’s just that every Cook’s Illustrated soup I’ve made has been so good that I bore myself saying it yet again.  Here’s what you need to know: it’s every bit as good as you’d imagine it to be.  Maybe even more.  And that’s saying a lot.  The cooksillustrated.com membership I bought has been one of the best kitchen-related investments I’ve ever made.

I’m including a picture of the pan sauce as well, because pan sauces have been the Road Runner to my Wile E. Cayote for some time.  So when I actually pull it off, I feel like dancing around the kitchen.  Allow me my small victories, please.  This was also a CI recipe, or more accurately, two or three CI recipes spliced together.  Just know that there were apples and onions, and they made me remember why a pan sauce is worth the all darn trouble anyway.

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