Saturday, January 21, 2006

Chickpea, Lentil, and Rice Soup (Page 112)

  • Date: Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 8pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Chris' Apartment
  • Sous Chef: Chris
  • Recipe Rating: F

Brian randomly chose the page number for this one. It was truly terrible. I will eat most things, but I took my portion of this and put it down the garbage disposal and ate a bagel instead. It was that bad. It was sad too because it sounded so good: a version of Moroccan harira -- a soup with lamb, lentils, and chickpeas. But it was shockingly bland, and the broth had no body to it. Harira should be velvety, it should have good mouth-feel. This version was essentially equivalent to eating hot water with lentils and lamb chunks floating in it. On top of it all it was ugly and made the kitchen smell bad. The only blessing was that Chris and I were the only ones here to eat it (or not eat it as the case may be!).

I got accused earlier today of grade inflation in my rating system. My grading is fair, I would argue, it's just that most things in this cookbook aren't bad. But this recipe is proof that when it's bad, I give it the failing grade it deserves!

Today wasn't a total culinary loss though - dessert was good (see above). Also, I had a really good chicken taco for lunch, at the airport of all places. I was almost dysfunctionally hungry while I was waiting for Chris at the airport this afternoon so I braved the airport food. That airport taco was better than any taco I have ever had in Boston. Another reason to love California -- fantastic Mexican food!


Chris said...

I don't think Teena accurately captured how bad this soup was. It was watery and flavorless (despite careful attempts at emergency last-minute seasoning). Instead of melding into the lentils and rice, the cilantro and parsley just floated aimlessly and unattractively in the "broth". Oh, and it smelled bad too (but maybe that is just an opinion born of our mild aversion to lamb). In any case, lentils and rice should never be tortured like this.

As long as I'm here, an unrelated thought: Teena hates mole, so I thought of her last night while I was eating the most amazing, heavenly pechuga de pollo en mole negro in Morelia.

Emilee said...

I'm pretty delighted that we missed this! Very clever of us. :)

PS. Welcome home Chris!

Mike Hill said...

The comments really make me want to try this. Aside from my belief that eating lamb is a sin (culture of life, baby!), this sounds fantastic. Quotes like "floated aimlessly and unattractively in the `broth'" really bring out how delightful this sounds.