The Village Tea Room is one of my favorite restaurants and I was thrilled when Agnes agreed to let share some of her recipes on this blog.
The Village Tea Room serves delicious tea and fantastic baked goods all day long. But that’s not all- it’s also a full-scale restaurant with incredible food.
Agnes hails from Ireland and while many of the foods on the menu do reflect her heritage, she makes it a point to serve a wide variety of dishes from across the globe…in her own words, it’s “home cooking at its best”.
Agnes is a huge proponent of Slow Food and bakes/cooks with only the best quality ingredients. This, coupled with the fact that she’s hugely committed to using foods from our region (New York’s Hudson Valley), makes me a a very big fan.
One of my favorite things on the menu at The Village Tea Room is the soups. They always feature seasonal ingredients and they are always delicious. Agnes was kind enough to share not one…not two…but three of the restaurant’s most popular fall soup recipes with me. This week I am going to share them with you, starting with this amazing Spiced Carrot Red Lentil Soup.
Agnes calls this “Carrot Red Lentil Soup with Gentle Spices”. I love this description. It is gently spiced, with flavors reminiscent of Indian cooking. I loved this both before blending and adding the coconut milk as well as after; try it both ways and I’m sure you’ll agree it is fabulous!
Carrot Red Lentil Soup With Gentle Spices
2 Tb. olive oil
1 1/2 Tb. fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 Tb. allspice
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. curry powder
3/4 cup sliced onions
3/4 cup peeled and sliced parsnips
4 cups scrubbed and sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 Tb. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup basmati rice
7 cups water
1/2 can coconut milk (approx. 1 cup)
juice of 1 lime
additonal 1/2 Tb. salt
In a soup pot, warm olive oil over low heat. Stir in the ginger and spices and cook until very fragrant (about 3 minutes). Do not let the spices burn.
Add the onions, carrots, parsnips and celery and season with the salt and pepper.
Raise the heat to medium and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the vegetables to be soft but not browned.
Stir in the lentils and basmati rice, mixing until well combined with the vegetables.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, until the vegetables are rice are tender. Make sure the carrots are very soft so that the soup won’t be gritty.
Being careful not to burn yourself as your transfer the soup to a blender or food processor, purée the soup until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot, bring back to a boil, and stir in the coconut milk and lime juice before serving.
The Village Tea Room is located at 10 Plattekill Ave in New Paltz, NY. If you’d like more information about Agnes and the restaurant, check out this great article from the Valley Table Magazine.