the unknown side of what's bumpin' in the trucks

Cookin’ with Uncle Mike & Colin

In eats on 2009/09/11 at 11:09 am


This is a hot one from INPIJBAL that I thought I’d pass along to the hungry and adventurous. Fall fare…

one of the crazy things that has happened recently is that i finally got the stereo system from my parents house in Brampton. it was decided i should have it after dad passed away and i finally pried it away from the home of my sister (love you, suesy). its a beauty. all vintage gear from 1979 – 1982. its quite sharp, and it got me to thinking about my dad and whatnot… he was a great cook. he would make things like baccala stew and Guyanese pepper pot – a dish made from ox tail, pig tail, beef shoulder, and a concoction of secret spices that included something called cazrip; a fermented syrup, that is black in colour, made from the root of a cassava (yucca) plant. i don’t know how to make those things, only he did (although, my mom makes a pretty good pepper pot these days).

the only problem is i didn’t get a chance to learn those recipes from him. you see, all those dishes took a VERY long time to make. in the case of pepper pot, its 3 days of cooking, seasoning, skimming fat, and adding liquid… at 18 i was more interested in quick, yummy, not so good for you meals like bbq chicken. i did however learn how to make one thing my dad made; split pea soup. i know, it doesn’t sound like much but when i was growing up it was a winter staple at my house for its ability to “stick to your ribs” (not to be confused with porridge, which “puts hair on your chest”). the only thing i really remember my dad doing was cooking the garlic. he would take about 4 to 6 cloves of garlic and chop them until they were very fine. he would then take a steal soup ladle and fill it with the garlic and enough oil to cover the garlic plus a little more. then he would put the ladle right over the burner on med-low heat and cook it until it was dark brown. he would then dunk the whole thing right into the soup pot and it would let off a very dramatic and violent bubble and sizzle. as a young kid, it was pretty cool to watch go down. now, i dont recommend you do it this way, because dad once set the kitchen on fire using this method. i suggest doing it in a very small pot or a pan and just dumping the garlic in the soup. it really gives the dish an earthy smokeyness that goes great with the rest of the smells and flavours in the dish. this is a slight variation on the dish. i use red lentils and smoked turkey thighs instead of green split peas a ham bone. you can substitute the turkey thigh with the ham bone, but the lentils and split peas would be in different measurements, that i don’t have at the moment. although i have changed some of the ingredients slightly, i would still like to dedecate this post to my old man, Colin.

Lentil Soup w. Smoked Turkey


1 smoked turkey thigh, bone in or bone out, whichever you prefer

2 cups red lentils

1 liter chicken stock

.5 liters water

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

2 stock celery, diced

4 large cloves or 6 medium garlic. get the freshest, most pungent garlic you can find.

few sprigs fresh thyme

2 dried bay leaves

oil for cooking veg

lots of olive oil for cooking the garlic

salt and pepper to taste


1. to prepare the turkey, remove the skin and scrape with a knife, all the fat on the underside of the skin. roll it up and tie it with butchers string and reserve for the soup. with a butter knife, scrape ll the fat off the turkey thigh

2. put a large stock pot on a med-high burner. add oil to the pan and allow to heat through. add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. add celery, carrot, thyme, and bay leaf and cook until just soft. add the lentils and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. you should see a little brown developing on the bottom of the pot. that’s what you want.

3. add the stock and water and allow to come to a boil. add smoked turkey the turkey skin. reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours, string every 15 minutes or so. the consistency should be very smooth, with no hard bits of lentil at all.

4. turn another burner to medium and place a VERY small pan to heat up on top. add enough olive oil so that there is a 1/4 inch of olive oil on surface of the pan. once the oil is heated through, add the garlic. cook it until it is a very dark golden brown. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC!!!! poor the garlic and oil directly into the soup pot. it spits up a lot and makes a hissing noise, so watch out. cook soup for an additional 30 minutes. check for salt and pepper and adjust to taste.

5. remove from heat and let sit for about an hour. this will help with the consistency of the soup. it should be thick, and uniform, but not gloppy. if it is, add a small amount of water. remove the turkey, turkey skin, and reserve. i like the skin, but it is an acquired taste. remove the bay leaf and thyme stems if you can find them.

6. stir the soup once more and serve hot in large bowls with a piece of the smoked turkey in the middle. enjoy 🙂


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