Monday, October 22, 2007

The Sea, The City, and Some Soup

One of the lovely things about living in Tirana is that we can be at the Adriatic Sea in less than half an hour, and it is one of our favourite ways to spend an afternoon no matter the season. Last weekend we decided to go to Durres and stay in the Hotel Adriatic for the night. They have a fabulous winter special which includes dinner, breakfast and lunch in the price. The weather was incredible for the middle of October, even here in Albania. We sat outside on the terrace reading our books and just relaxing all day. Our friends went jogging on the beach but we were lazy and just soaked up the sunshine. Peter even got a sunburn! What a way to de-stress and to forget about the city for a while.

We spent most of last week once again in Vienna, Austria. Peter had meetings and a few medical check-ups and I spent my time mostly walking and shopping. The weather was chilly and mostly cloudy with rain so I actually didn't even take one photo the whole time! It felt good to be back in Tirana where the skies were clear when we landed. However last night the weather turned quite chilly and wet, and so we threw an extra duvet on the bed.
The rain continued this morning and it felt like the perfect day for making a big pot of comforting soup. I found an easy recipe in a great set of recipe cards that Ola gave me last spring and after a couple of hours at the Spa having a manicure/pedicure, I went off to the supermarket to gather the ingredients together for the Curried Lentil Soup. It's not much to look at (you know brown lentils are just sort of BROWN!) so again there's no photos, but believe me it's really tasty and takes hardly any time to throw together.

Here's the recipe:

Curried Lentil Soup

1 TBSP oil

1 cup onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 TBSP curry powder

4 cups chicken bouillon

2 1/2 cups water

2 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped

2 cups lentils, uncooked

1 cup carrots, finely chopped

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

1 cup parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

sour cream


In a large saucepan, heat oil; saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in curry powder; saute one minute. Add bouillon, water, tomatoes, lentils, carrots and wine. Simmer, uncovered until lentils are cooked, about 45 minutes. Stir in parsley, simmer 5 minutes. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream; sprinkle with paprika. Serve with sourdough bread. Serves 8.

I have to confess- I forgot the wine, the parsley, and the paprika!!! But it was still really delicious! And I served it with some nice rosemary foccacio since that's what I could buy today.

I'll certainly be making this again! Hope you try it too.


Alison said...

Mmmm, I love lentils and that soup sounds delish! I will have to give it a try :)

CanadianSwiss said...

I will definitely try that soup, now that the weather is getting chilly. Your weekends sound wonderful!

O said...

Hi Kim, I am very excited that you are using the "soup-cards". Happy cooking!

oreneta said...

Boo hoo...I can't get sour cream here, I have to figure out how to make it, I imagine I leave cream on the counter for a while....

varske said...

Hey I like the Hotel Adriatic in Durres too. True its the only hotel I know there. But I had to organise a conference for governmental officials there once and it was great. One of our best "working holidays".

james said...

I am intrigued by your soup. However, I too have difficulties finding sour cream. In fact I don't even know where to get it in Tirana. Now that the weather is cooling, I could get some and bring back to Berat. Where do I find the sour cream and what is it called in Albanian/Italian/German or in whatever language you find? Thanks.

Ginnie said...

Did you know I was in your Adriatic Sea only days ago, Kim! I thought about how close we were to each other, geographically! We LOVED Dubrovnik, of course. I wish we could have met there (even though it was raining most of the day!).