Perfect Lentil Soup

IMG_9475Ah, January. Normally I’d be talking about how gray and sad the weather’s been here in Seattle, but fortunately I’d be lying to you if I said that now. It’s been gorgeous here this winter. Maybe a tish warm, but sunny and not gray, so I think we’re all counting ourselves lucky. That said, it’s still prime soup season, and lentil soup is my go-to, MVP, championship soup. I make a big batch at least every 10 days or so and take it for lunch. It’s warm, filling, easy, keeps well, and is great for cleaning out the veggie drawer and just using whatever you have. It’s pictured above with my buckwheat-oat biscuits, a fine combo if you’re so inclined.

IMG_9457

What you need:

1 small white onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 inches of fresh ginger, chopped

1 russet potatoe, sweet potato, or whatever other potato you’ve got, chopped

Olive oil – roughly 3 Tbsp

1 can (the large one) of diced tomatoes (use fire-roasted tomatoes if you want a little extra zing- I highly recommend you try this)

1 cup of de Puy lentils, rinsed

6 cups of water

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

two zucchini, chopped

1 handful of green beans, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

*Seriously, friends. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Cauliflower, broccoli, sunchokes, whatever! It will be delicious.  Trust me.IMG_9450Start by sauteeing onion, garlic, carrot, ginger, and potato in olive oil until onions are golden brown and carrots and potato are soft.

Next, add your can of tomatoes and bring to boil. Then add water, bring it to boil, then add lentils. Let boil for about 1 minute, and then bring it back to a low boil/simmer for 30 minutes, covered.

Once the lentil are cooked, add veggies and cooke for another 5-10 minutes. Add thyme, salt, and pepper, let simmer another 5 minutes or so and then serve. Unlike Flava-Flav, the flavors will only get better over time. IMG_9477Eat up and enjoy! 🙂

Advertisements

Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Zucchini Soup. Easy, Filling, and Delicious! (And GF and Vegan!)

IMG_9220

Friends, today I’d like to share a tasty, easy, and hearty soup that’s been a a hit in my house. It’s easily made with whatever veggies you have a round the house and the quinoa makes it a great source of protein. Also, sweet potatoes are magical. Let’s just acknowledge that now.IMG_9223IMG_9229

What you need:

1 large onion, chopped

1-2 large carrots, chopped

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 inch piece of beautiful, gorgeous fresh ginger chopped

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1.5 cups quinoa

3 cups spinach, kale, chard, or whatever green you have on hand, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes (I used a 15 oz can)

8 cups of water or low-sodium veggie broth

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp thyme

A dash of paprika to taste is also luscious in here

salt and pepper to taste.IMG_9222What to do:

Put the olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, carrot and sweet potato in a large soup pot on medium heat and sautee until soft and slightly brown. Once browned, add cumin and tomatoes. Stir for 1-2 minutes, then add water and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes until the quinoa is ready. Reduce heat and add the zucchini and let the pot simmer for a few minutes. Add greens and your salt and pepper just prior to serving. IMG_9219

This soup keeps very well in the fridge, but just remember that the quinoa will soak up some of the water during storage. I just add a little water right before reheating to keep it good and brothy. Eat up and enjoy! 🙂

Easy White Bean Soup. It’s everything bean soup should be: Warm, delicious, and full of beans.

IMG_9146Today I bring you another soup, my interweb friends. Our fall here in Seattle has been insanely good until literally November 1st, when one wicked wind storm blew all the leaves off the trees and brought back our rain. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s kind of nice to be all cozy like in the house, wearing the crap out of some sweaters, and simmering a little something on the stove. In fact I’ve got a big pot of chai base bubbling away right now and it smells epic. That, however, is not the recipe I want to share with you today.

Last night was a rainy, bone-chilling kind of night, and heading to the store sounded like pretty much the worst idea ever.  As such, this here soup was born. I don’t have more photos of prep because I honestly didn’t think it would be so good. IMG_9152Sweet baby lima beans are highly underrated (or lowly underrated). They’ve replaced great northern beans as my favorite white beans. WHAT?! YOU’RE SHOCKED! Just imagine how shocked I was when I realized that I actually spend enough time thinking about white beans to EVEN HAVE a displaced favorite. Yeah.

What you need:

2 cups white beans, soaked for at least 6 hours and cooked. (cans also fit in just dandy here)

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 potato, chopped

1 can of whole, peeled tomoatoes (the big can, that is)

4 cloves garlic

1.5 inches of fresh chopped ginger

6 cups of water

3 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 – 1 cup chopped kale per bowl

IMG_9150IMG_9149To make:

If soaking and cooking beans, soak your beans in water, making sure they’re covered by at least 1 inch. Drain and rinse, then place in a pot with enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until tender, making sure not to cook to mush. Ain’t nobody got time for mush.

Place olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger in a soup pot and saute until tender and slightly brown. Add potato and saute for another 5 minutes, adding some water to deglaze the pot as necessary.

Once soft, add your can of tomatoes and water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add beans, herbs, and bay leaves. Simmer for about 10 minutes (or longer if needed). The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will integrate. Add salt and pepper to taste.IMG_9153When ready to serve, place chopped kale in the bottom of a bowl and ladle on over some of your hot, beany soup. Enjoy and stay warm!IMG_9143

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. It’s delightful AND autumnal.

IMG_9124It’s been a while my food-loving friends, and I apologize! Late summer was filled with travels and basking in abundant laziness with my Master’s degree finished. Sure, I’m working full time, but man oh man, days off are sweet when they don’t have to be full of lectures and papers. I’ve been cooking all the while, but haven’t felt much like taking photos or writing anything. After a long respite, I’m happy to share this tasty little dish with you all.

IMG_9107

Ooooh, fall. How I love your colors and many squashes.

This soup is very simple to make, filled with spicy and sweet notes, and smooth as butta (as in buttanut…). It’s great for warming up after a chilly day outside.IMG_9109

What you need:

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 butternut squash, halved and roasted

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large apple, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 tbsp curry powder

1.5 cups de puy, brown, or red lentils, cooked

4 cups water or vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9120

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prepare the butternut by slicing it lengthwise, removing seeds, rubbing with olive oil, and laying flesh down on a baking sheet. The roasting will take 25-30 min, but it’ll be done when it’s soft and the flesh side is browned.

At the same time, cook your lentils by adding 2 cups of water to a pot, bringing to gentle boil, and adding rinsed lentils. Cover and let simmer until tender.IMG_9121

While the squash is roasting, add the chopped garlic, onion, and apple to a soup pot with the olive oil. Saute until lightly browned, then add curry powder and brown for 1 more minute. Add the water or veggie broth to deglaze.

Simmer until the squash is ready, then chop the squash into large chunks (including the skin). Add squash to the pot. Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth in batches (or use an immersion blender). Return blended soup to pot, simmer, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked lentils. Eat and be happy!IMG_9130

Coconut Curry Soup. MmmMmm Good!

P1030013_2So you, may have noticed that I love coconut. So it probably won’t shock you that I love coconut soup too. It’s March in the PNW, which means cold and damp, and sometimes windy, and today walking home in the sideways rain, nothing in the world sounded better to me than a nice bowl of spicy, coconutty deliciousness.

Hence, I present to you coconut curry soup. And I won’t lie, it’s good. Real good.

P1030006

And the best thing about this soup you ask? Well, it’s fast. And the second best thing? It does wonders for a sore throat.  Just sayin’. It tastes a lot better than any medication I’ve tried.

To make it, you need:

1 Tbsp of coconut oil

2 cans of light coconut milk

3 cups of water or veggie broth

1 cup white mushrooms, sliced

1 carrot, diced finely

1 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 Tbsp tamari (or fish sauce if not going gf or vegan)

3 Tbsp red curry paste (I like mine pretty spicy, so start yours with less if you don’t think the spice is so nice)

1 Tbsp lemon grass

1/8 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

several leaves of basil (save until serving)

2 inces of fresh ginger, diced finely

4 cloves of garlic, diced

salt and pepper (or better yet, grains of paradise) to taste

P1030004In a pot, combine garlic, onion, ginger, and coconut oil. Sauteè over low heat until softened. Add carrot and mushrooms, and continue to sautee until carrots softened and mushrooms browned. Add red curry and lemongrass and cook for 1 more minute

P1020996Add coconut milk, water, red pepper, and cilantro. Bring to boil for 30 seconds, and reduce heat to low. It can definitely be served here, but it’s even tastier if you let it cook for an extra 10 minutes or so.

P1030011_2Pour into bowls, garnish with fresh basil, and drink down the spicy, coconutty, smooth-as-silk goodness! Also, don’t be afraid to add tofu, chicken, or whatever protein of choice is. Rice noodles would also be fantastic!

Chickpea, Sweet Potato, and Saffron Soup. Boy howdy.

P1020900

 

I’ve had a little tub of saffron sitting on my spice shelf for far too long. As all the other spices disappear and get replaced, the saffron has the been the proverbial cheese from “The Farmer in the Dell.” It stands alone. 😦 So today I decided that saffron was done standing alone, and came up with this tasty soup. It’s light, but filling, and doesn’t take much fanciness aside from the saffron and some caraway seeds, which I suppose aren’t fancy, but I never used to keep them in my kitchen until recently, so they’re kind of fancy.

Anyway, this soup is very easy, relatively quick, and waaaay delicious with the light flavors of saffron, mint, caraway, and cilantro and a nice tang from some fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Really it’s about spices here, so make sure not to skimp, and add everything if you’ve got it.

P1020889

 

P1020890

Here’s what you need:

2 Tbsp cilantro (I used dried, but feel free to use fresh if you’ve got it)

1.5 Tbsp caraway seed

2 Tbsp chopped mint

2 Tsp saffron threads

pinch of chili powder

pinch of paprika

1/2 tsp grains of paradise (optional, but so tasty and a really versatile spice)

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (if using dried beans, soak in water overnight, then cook until softened before adding)

6 cups of water

1 large yellow onion

4 regular carrots, chopped

7 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 regular or 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

spinach, washed and saved until just before serving

Mint for garnish

 

First, add olive oil, onions and garlic to a pot along with caraway seeds and cilantro, saute-ing until golden brown and slightly softened. Then add carrots, sweet potato, and mint, cooking over medium-high heat until carrots start to soften.

P1020893

P1020896

 

Add water, beans, and all remaining spices to pot along with lemon juice. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Right before serving add spinach and serve when spinach is wilted. Serve, eat, and be happy!

P1020901

P1020902