Recipe Share: Veg Lentil Soup

24 10 2011

I love how this soup has friends, family and community farmers all in one pot – metaphorically speaking. Our friend Dan gave us a big ‘ole container of green lentils grown on his wife’s family’s farm in Saskatchewan. I have been looking forward to making a pot of lentil soup for some time. My dear friend Kelly shared this recipe with me. It is a family favourite. Her and I were out for a leisurely tea remembering her sister and my good friend Jodie who passed away a year ago. Among many things, we shared nourishing soup recipes and ate a cookie in her honour, Jod loved cookies. As well, our family suffered the loss of my cousin in recent weeks, he was known to be the cook in the kitchen himself (runs in the family eh) – so it seemed fitting to put a pot of soup on the stove this weekend in remembrance.

This couldn’t be a simpler recipe, and as Kelly says, she rarely follows the recipe, so I did the same. Here is the recipe and my additions below.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped (I omitted this)
  • 1 tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin (fresh ground is best)
  • 1/2 cup diced Carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced Celery
  • 1 cup diced Potato
  • 1 cup dry Green Lentils
  • 4 cups or so of stock (use chicken or veggie, I used Veggie cubes)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Hot Sauce

I more than doubled the recipe and also added;

  • Diced Parsnips
  • Zucchini (which I added with the stock)
  • Chopped Parsley (I always have some frozen in the freezer for soup)
  • 1 tsp hot Chilli Powder

Saute the veggies first, until they start to sweat. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to boil and simmer on a low boil until lentils are soft. Add the lemon and hot sauce, serve.

Oh yeah, hello fall.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Quick Thai Curry

22 11 2010

The theme around here continues to be comfort foods, and being so cold and snowy right now, this is an easy sell. We love curry of any kind, and for us it is a comfort food. As a wedding gift we received green and red Thai Curry bases purchased at Williams and Sonoma. Although I can’t find it on the website, I think they still sell it in the store, but it’s been a long time since I was there to see. It is the best Thai curry base I have used (including ones bought in asian markets). It is made from whole ingredients and you can see the lemon grass and lime leaves crushed up in it. I prefer making Thai curries from scratch, but when you are in the mood and don’t have all the ingredients, these bases are a comfort food saver. As for Indian curry bases, I tend not to use them. Unlike Thai, Indian curry ingredients are easy to keep around the house, lemon grass and lime leaves, key ingredients in Thai, do not keep well (unless you know a secret and want to share it with me).

Saturday night the weather was a mere -20 degrees Celsius, and this has gone on for a week now, so what to make for dinner? A warm Thai Curry. Here is an easy recipe and how I use the same recipe for a shrimp version and then convert it to a veggie dish for left overs. Always thinking ahead to lunch for the week 🙂

Quick Thai Curry

  • 1 cup of Jasmine or Basmati Rice (cook it with a few tbsp of dried or fresh grated coconut, we had some fresh coconut in the fridge, it was a great addition to the rice)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Pepper, sliced
  • 3-4 Carrots, sliced on an angle
  • 3-4 Stalks Celery, sliced on an angle
  • 1 Large Zucchini, sliced in half rounds (I would use eggplant too, but couldn’t find any that night)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 2-3 tbsp Green or Red Curry Base, depending on level of spice
  • 12 large Shrimp, tail on
  • 1 package Snow Peas (hard to find organic, so I wash them really well, eh)
  • 1 can Chick Peas

Cut all of the vegetables so they are about the same thickness. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil on medium high heat in a wok or large pot. Add the carrots, celery and pepper, stir fry until the start to soften but are still firm, about 10 min. Add the zucchini, stir fry until the zucchini start to soften, 5-10 min, they might even caramelize a bit. Add the coconut milk and curry base, stir well. Add the shrimp and snow peas, continue cooking on medium heat until the shrimp are cooked and the coconut milk thickens, about 10 min. Shrimp are cooked when they are opaque and no longer pink. Serve over the rice, removing all of the shrimp. There should be plenty of veggies and some sauce left, add the chick peas to it, voila, lunch is served. Of course you can skip the shrimp completely and just add the chick peas, I do this with all sorts of veggies and curry through the winter.

Eat well, Be well (stay warm),

Nat





Just Eat It: One Pot Moroccan Goodness

10 03 2010

This month’s recipe for the Shala’s ‘Just Eat It’ column is a real simple, hearty and healthful Moroccan stew. Winter is coming to an end, give the winter veggies one last hurrah before the change in seasons – the veggies here are definitely negotiable and I love that this recipe can change with the seasons. The sweetness of the dried fruit and the warming of the coconut milk and curry make for a comfort food in our home.

Both cumin and turmeric are considered medicinal herbs. Cumin has long been used all over the world as a digestive aid and is a source of iron. Turmeric a popular ingredient in salves and an aid to injuries throughout Asia. It is an antioxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Curry powder is mix of spices and can include these spices but can also includes coriander, fenugreek, ginger, cardamom and mustard seeds to name a few. Curry powders are prominent across Asia, are full of goodness so choose your favourite to use in this recipe.

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Red Onion (small onion or skip if you are anti-onion), chopped up

2 large Carrots chopped up

2 cups Vegetable Stock (homemade is best or use a low sodium, organic veggie cube in 2 cups warm water)

1 400 ml can Coconut Milk

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Cayenne

1-2 Tbsp Curry Powder (depending on how strong your curry powder is and what you like)

4 Tbsp ground Cumin

1/2 tsp Turmeric

Veggies to pick from, add at least 4-5 items, cut them into chunks, skin and all: 2 Potatoes, 1 Sweet Potato, 1 Yam, 1 Eggplant, 2 Green Pepper, 2 Red Peppers, 1 Zucchini, 1 cup Cauliflower, 1 Rutabaga, 1 Turnip – sky’s the limit!

1 400 ml can Chick Peas (or 2 cups cooked from dried)

1/4 cup raisins or chopped unsulphured dried apricots

1/8 cup dried grated Coconut (unsweetened)

Sea Salt to taste

– Add the onion and carrots to a large pot with 1/2 cup of stock and olive oil. Cook over medium heat until onion softens

– Add the spices, stirring for a minute, add the coconut milk

– Add the veggies that take a bit longer to cook like potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams and the rest of the stock, cover and cook for 5 minutes

– Add the rest of the veggies, chickpeas, raisins/apricots and coconut, cover and cook until veggies are soft but not over cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Flavour with sea salt

Serve over quinoa, brown basmati rice or on it’s own. Garnish with a few sprinkles of coconut and eat it!

Eat well, Nat