It was at a beautifully restored, underground café/bookshop in Lyon where we discovered Tibetan soup for the very first time.
We didn't actually taste it, not that day anyway. But we did memorize the ingredients that had been chalked into the black board at the entrance.
It was a late autumn day when we ducked into the café to get out of the cold and to drink a hot chocolate, the kind that's served in those elegantly tall glasses and comes with a tower of crème chantilly on top.
-chop and sauté two medium onions in some olive oil
-add two or three whole garlic cloves
-add two medium eggplants (not peeled), chunked
-when you see the eggplant start to soften and turn brown, add one can of whole peeled tomatoes
-cover with water, add about 5 handfuls of red lentils (that's about a cup and a half, I guess) and bring to a boil, then let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Next, add one 400ml can of coconut milk and mix with an immersion blender until smooth.
Season with salt, fresh or dried corriander, cardamom and red chili powder or cayenne pepper.
If you get the seasoning just right, little bursts of flavor will pop in your mouth and the tastes won't overpower each other.
This is a great soup when the weather is cold, and goes particularly well with a side dish of rice or semolina (couscous).