Recipe, as promised

Substantial

Spicy Lentil Soup

As promised, in my previous post, here is my recipe for Spicy Lentil Soup:

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in a large, heavy duty saucepan. Add one onion, one carrot and one stalk of celery,  all coarsely chopped. Add one clove of garlic, peeled but whole. Stir. Then let these ingredients ‘sweat’, or gently cook, with a lid on the saucepan, for as long as you can be patient.  Do not let the mixture burn or brown. I sometimes let my ingredients ‘sweat’ for about 15 to 20 minutes because the longer I leave the carrot, onion and celery and garlic, the sweeter the soup will be.  Remove lid and add 1 teaspoon of curry powder, 1/4 tsp of chilli powder and one dried, red chilli.  Stir for a minute.  At this stage, I add 3 or 4 slices of bacon*, chopped in to large pieces. Stir and cover for another minute.  Then add one cup of washed, red lentils. I stir and cover for a few seconds whilst I open a 400gm tin of crushed tomatoes in juice. In go the tomatoes, another stir and cover, and a few more minutes to allow the lentils to be coated with the tomatoes etc.  Lastly add 4 cups  of liquid stock and half a cup of bulghur wheat* . I use chicken stock made from stock powder or cubes. Add salt to taste. I  use  a teaspoon of salt.  Simmer covered, on very low heat, until the lentils and vegetables are soft; usually about 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooked, remove the slices of bacon and blend the soup till smooth. (Remove the whole chilli too, unless you want a really spicy soup!) Chop the cooked bacon into smaller pieces and use for garnish, along with some chopped parsley.

* I haven’t tried to make this soup without bacon but I am sure it could be made without.

* The bulghur wheat is optional but it does make the soup superbly thick.

My spicy lentil soup is adapted from the Spicy Lentil Soup recipe  in Edmonds Cookery Book, 45th Deluxe Edition, 1999.P1020772The first Edmonds Cookery Book was published in 1908 by young Mr Thomas J Edmonds who had established a thriving business selling baking powder to New Zealand housewives.  He promised the home baker that, with Edmonds baking powder, their baking was ‘sure to rise’ and so it did, and has continued to do so ever since.  He made his  first sale of baking powder in 1879.  Edmonds became a trusted name in our country’s households. In the last 50 years, or so, over 3 million Edmonds Cookery Books have been printed, which equates to almost one copy for every  person in New Zealand 🙂

Thomas Edmonds built his first factory in our city, Christchurch, in 1922. The factory and the company’s trademark  “Sure to Rise” slogan are featured on the cookery book cover. The factory was not only famous for its products but also for its beautiful gardens. Even when the factory was demolished in 1990, the site continued, and developed, as a garden for the public to enjoy.  Thomas Edmonds was an enlightened employer and subscribed to that lovely philosophy of a beautiful workplace to enhance the lives and working standards of his employees. He also wanted to live in a beautiful city and, to this end, was a prolific benefactor to the city. Sadly, some of his gifts to the city were destroyed in the recent earthquakes and have since been demolished. Amongst them was the Repertory Theatre, which began life as the Christchurch Radiant Health Club.( http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/culture/radiant-living/the-origins-of-radiant-living)

Thomas Edmonds believed in the therapeutic qualities of the sun, and in the study and practise of diet.  I think I would have liked him. And I am sure he would have enjoyed a bowl of my soup,  followed by a bowl of my custard.  Good healthy, economical, everyday fare.

Such a pleasant, sunny piece of our city’s history. I wonder what Mr Edmonds would think of his successful home grown business, now in the hands of multinational, Goodman Fielder. Would he be pleased, philosophical or pragmatic about this development?  Or would he be worried, just a little, like me, about a company that will not tell me  why it proudly proclaims on the back of its Edmonds Sure to Rise Baking Powder that this important “Part of New Zealand’s Heritage” all “started in Lyttleton”, when clearly it did not; there being no such place. Thomas Edmonds first footprint on New Zealand soil was made in Lyttelton. (Spot the difference Lyttleton (wrong); Lyttelton (right) )

And can you spot the common denominator on the custard packet and on the cover of the cookery book?

So, here’s to the sunshine and soup  in our lives. Hopefully, we will see the sun again tomorrow.

http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Heritage/Publications/ChristchurchCityCouncil/ArchitecturalHeritage/LegacyofThomasEdmonds/

http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Practical-Living/People/E/Edmonds-Thomas/

© silkannthreades

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43 thoughts on “Recipe, as promised

  1. Pingback: Convalescence | silkannthreades

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you. Yes, there was a lot of history; maybe a little too much to digest in one serving 🙂 I am sure you would make a workplace beautiful with all your wonderful craftwork. Imagine your recycled sofa sitting pretty in someone’s staffroom. Nice 🙂

      Reply
  2. gpcox

    My godfather’s wife used to make me have lentil soup every New Year’s Day, first thing to eat in the new year was supposed to bring good luck, she said. A German tradition?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How interesting! Being a good, solid, nourishing soup, it would certainly set you up for a good start to the year. I must try and find out more about this tradition.

      Reply
  3. Sheryl

    I enjoyed the story of the Edmonds Cookery Book and of the baking powder company. It’s interesting how some of the major cookbooks got their start as a tool to promote a company of product. In the United States a really popular cookbook, the Betty Crocker Cookbook, was created by the major flour and cereal company (General Mills). Like the Edmonds Cookery Book it has been around for a long time.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was a very good marketing tool and still is today. I don’t know the Betty Crocker cookbook but we do see Betty Crocker products in our supermarkets. That name is probably known all over the world. I doubt Edmonds is known much outside our region; I could be wrong about that though.

      Reply
  4. Sheryl @ Flowery Prose

    Fascinating history of Edmonds!

    I do believe I have nearly all of the ingredients on hand to make that lovely soup…I may just do that this weekend. I can’t work for a few days because of the flooding in the city so cooking up a nice batch of soup seems like a very good idea. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Excellent. I think it is a recipe that is probably very forgiving if you don’t have exactly the right ingredients. Sorry that you can’t get to your work although maybe it’s nice for you to have more time at home…..making soup and other goodies, like rhubarb cobbler 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      One can only hope. In the meantime, I look at the fake sun on the box to remind me what the sun looks like. Poor Calgary and Alberta. They need some drying out too.

      Reply
  5. Clanmother

    Yummy!!! Thomas Edmond was indeed a remarkable fellow (I Googled him) . I would be very interested in knowing his thoughts on the corporate model. Very interested, indeed!

    Reply
  6. utesmile

    Lentils are very good for you and I should really eat more, They are great for winter soups I agree and I love them too! I would have liked Thomas Edmonds too and I am sure I would have liked your soup and custard. You always have some interesting facts, I love that.

    Reply
      1. utesmile

        It is a good alternative, funny enough I am cutting down on meat a lot too, I don’t seem to need it and want it so much! Once a week I have it only.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Yes once or twice a week is more than enough for me, especially in the summer time when I have so much choice in fresh fruit and vegetables. I can manage with only a little meat but I love my cheese. I eat too much of that.

  7. Forest So Green

    I have never tried bacon in lentil soup but we do use the bulghur. I also love your photos. Our first day of summer here is cold with rain, a perfect day for some soup 🙂 Annie

    Reply
  8. Katherine's Daughter

    I am not quite through my first cup of coffee, but I am guessing someone at the baking soda factory didn’t double check their spelling? 🙂
    Lovely story. Love those rays of sun on both packages…
    Joanne

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah you noticed! The sun rays 🙂 Hope the sun is shining for you this morning. I am not sure if the incorrect spelling is deliberate or genuine. Either way, my emails to the company have not been answered satisfactorily. It may seem petty but if one is marketing one’s tradition and heritage it seems a good idea to get the spelling right.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you for saying so. Yes the sun is good for us but it is tricky to get the balance right. Too much and we get skin cancer. Too little and we get other problems including Vitamin D deficiency.

      Reply
  9. Virginia Duran

    Another good recipe on the list! I am very intrigued by the history of the owner. I think is difficult to manage growth on enterprises. And “family companies” are kind of an impossible utopia nowadays. We live in a global world. I wonder if there will be local businesses in the future, or the ones that were will keep their identity! Interesting thoughts on this post!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, he is a fascinating figure and he started his business at about the age of 20 I think. There are still some substantial family businesses in the country but it can’t be easy to keep them that way, I would imagine. Edmonds was well respected in its time and the fact that the new ‘takeover’ company has chosen to keep the name shows how respected that name still is.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Possibly the connection is not all that clear ; ) Have another look when the sun comes out. My vision is suffering from a degree of cabin fever.

      Reply

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