Ramadan has left us, and fall approaches. Leaves turn brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow, lose their grip on life and gently drift down to cover the ground. Crisp air blows in, causing the leaves to swirl and dance.
I’m an all year round soup person, but there is something about the drop in temperature that signals loud and clear that it’s time for soup.
I recently made two soups that I enjoy greatly. Alas, no pictures, as they were taken to iftars and quickly dished out before I could snap a shot. Luckily for the visual learners, others have taken pictures so vivid that you can almost smell the concoctions wafting off the screen.
The first is one of my favorite soups of all time – Red Lentil, Zucchini and Couscous soup. Living in the age of year round produce, this summer soup can warm your stomach all year long. I follow the recipe with no major changes, except to play fast and loose with the veggie amounts. Everyone I’ve made this for has loved it, even the picky eaters at the masjid. I use Rapunzel Bullion cubes for the broth.
The second is a tomato basil soup. I modified this recipe to reduce fat content. I’m sure it tastes heavenly with a whole stick of butter and cream, but I don’t think my waistline would be too happy to gain back the 12 pounds it lost during ramadan. I cut the butter in half and used half and half. Next time, I may cut the butter in half again and use only 1% milk. It will lose some creaminess, but I’m sure my chub will thank me for it. But, if I’m cutting all that fat, I would also probably replace half the canned tomatoes with fresh ones. Canned tomatoes tend to have a strong acidic flavor, and the fat helps to dull it. More sugar would probably help balance out the flavor as well.