I'm reading Our Town with my students for the gazillionth time, and I still enjoy it. I understand that some people think it's slow, uneventful, and overly nostalgic, but I think that everyone can agree with its message that a lot of what makes people happy are the little, seemingly unimportant things...you know, like having good soup for lunch. Every since I had Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookies, I've been excited about salt.
Monica Bhide was writing about paprika on her blog this week, and she mentioned that she loved the Spanish paprika from My Spice Sage. Obligingly, I got on line, ordered some Spanish paprika, some Murray River salt, some fleur del sel, and some applewood smoked sea salt. I could have a separate post to wax about the applewood smoked sea salt. It's intoxicating. My family used to spend time at a friend's cabin in the San Bernardino Mountains when I was a kid. There were innumerable reasons that I have pleasant memories of those weekends at "Uncle Fenton's" cabin in Idyllwild, but one of the memories I had forgotten until now was the smell. This salt smells like "weekends at the cabin"! I was walking around sniffing my glass jar of salt, when I realized that I needed to make soup, and I needed to season it with applewood smoked sea salt...so I did!
I made lentil soup with red lentils, just kind of improvising, starting with several chopped cloves of garlic sauteed in ghee. Then I added carrots, sauteed them a little longer before adding Trader Joe's Hearty Vegetable Broth. I cooked the soup until the lentils were tender, about twenty minutes, and then I added a little cumin, applewood smoked sea salt, and a big handful of chopped parsley from my garden. I wish I had several nice, lunch-size portions, waiting for me to take for lunch this week in my fridge, but I would have had to been much quicker on the draw. It was gone in mere minutes.