Wednesday, 14 October 2009

How not to make Dahl Soup

This can be summed up in one phrase: do not overfill the blender.

I had my first cooking disaster since keeping this blog. It happened on Monday, but I have had to let a couple of days pass before I felt I could write about it with enough emotional distance - yes, that's right: ruining something you had your heart set on making, trying to make something nice and nutritious for your family and then having it all go tits up, really can be quite emotional. If you're me.

And what made me feel doubly stupid was that I have made the very same mistake before - you'd think I'd have learnt my lesson.

I was attempting to make Dahl soup from a Weightwatchers cookbook that I own (I can't guarantee how authentic the recipes are, but I've made the lamb rogan josh and the onion bhajees from it and they were both very tasty). It was all going sort of ok (although twice the lentils boiled over coating my hob in scum - I really don't think boiling lentils with the lid on the pan is a good idea, even though the book says this is what you should do), and then I came to the last stage where you blend the soup in a blender or food processor. I have a not particularly large blender, where I often have to blend things in more than one batch, but for some reason, on Monday night (I guess I must have been tired and more than a little absent-minded) I decided to put the lot in there even though it was clearly too much. It didn't take much blending before it starting spilling out of the bottom of the blender. I am somewhat fortunate in that the soup didn't spray everywhere in some kind of recreation of The Exorcist, but trying to remove the jug from the base of the blender over a saucepan only resulted in me spilling the soup all over the worktop, in the sink, on the floor and on my jeans.

I managed to salvage a small amount, but it wasn't properly blended. And do you know what the worst thing was? IT DIDN'T EVEN TASTE THAT GOOD. So, yeah, I made mediocre soup, which I managed to spill everywhere, which I'm still finding bits of in various places, and, you know, it had turmeric in it, so it is bright golden yellow. I think the kitchen has finally stopped smelling of curry though.

Fourty-five minutes of cooking and not enough dinner for two, resulted in a trip to the fish and chip shop. I ate chips with the buttered bread I had bought to accompany the soup. Needless to say, this did not help much with the diet.

We have decided to invest in a nice food processor. And I have decided to be more careful in future.


  1. Awww, your poor thing! That was quite funny, mostly because I do exactly the same thing & often end up with soup everywhere. I love cooking, but when it goes wrong I get very, very angry. I hope writing about it helped vent some of those difficult emotions. :)

    I'm considering getting a handheld blender for my soups because no matter how good the blender, I am incapable of getting the soup from pan to blender without major spills.

  2. Handheld blender actually sounds like a good idea - no chance of overfilling then! I have trouble getting soup from pan to blender too and have to do it over the sink.