Monday, December 8, 2008

Great Queens Soup Search: Death by Lentil Soup

Here's a little trivia: in 2007, the world produced 3.9 million tonnes of lentils. I wouldn't be shocked to discover that Queens absorbed the bulk of this bounty, because it seems lentil soup is on the menu EVERYWHERE I go.

Here's my rundown on the first of not one, not two -- but three lentil soups in three days.

Quantum Leap Restaurant
6564 Fresh Meadow Lane
Fresh Meadows
(718) 461-1307
Soup: Tomato Lentil

The Good News: I'm not a big fan of vegetarian restaurants, though I admit my reasons have more to do with the existence of words like "un-turkey" and "un-beef" than my dislike of tofu products. Quantum Leap is slightly shabby, yes. But it's comfortable, warm and attached to a health food store that goes by the same name -- so it was worth a shot.

I'll give the soup a thumbs-up for its massive zucchini, carrots, celery, onions, broccoli and turnip chunks. The veggie medley was fresh and tasty. Very nice.

The Bad News: Though the vegetables were lovely, the main attraction -- the lentils -- were overcooked. And why was my soup dripping down the side of the cup before it reached the table?

Verdict: The potential for a really great, interesting vegetarian soup is there. But, come on. Soup is a first course -- not an afterthought. Get those lentils out of the pot a few minutes earlier and I'll happily deal with the messy presentation.

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