Lentil Spinach Soup

I’ve been making this every week for a month or two now; ever since there was a chill in the air, really. It’s tasty, a complete protein/meal with rice or toast, and truly delicious. It is adapted from the Greens cookbook which is a mainstay in my arsenal.

1 cup green or brown lentils, cleaned and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 diced celery stalk
7 cups water
Salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lg red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
~1lb spinach, cut into strips (no stems)
Red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar to taste
Pepper

Put the lentils, bay leaf and celery in a soup pot with the water, parsley stems, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Boil, remove foam, lower heat to slow boil.

While lentils cook, heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook briskly for a few minutes, lower the heat, and stir in the garlic and parsley. Continue until onions are soft, then add lentils in the soup pot.

When lentils are soft, stir in the spinach by handfuls, simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings. Turn off heat and add vinegar.

Lemony Lentil Soup

At Christmas I was given the Thug Kitchen cookbook – which is AMAZING. Seriously. Quit your job. Spend your last paycheck on groceries and wine, and spend the next two weeks in the kitchen. This is a recipe (I’ve slightly) adapted from that book and it is the best thing I’ve made with red lentils in ages.

Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 russet potato, cut into cubes
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed (the original recipe uses minced)
1/2tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
5-6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest (just boost the lemon juice if you’re out)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional garnish – original recipe calls for cilantro)

Directions:
Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 mins. Add carrot and potato for another 2 mins. Then add spices. Saute for another 30 seconds, then add salt, lentils, and broth. Fish out those pieces of garlic (you can do this later, if you minced the garlic, leave it in).

Let the lentils simmer, uncovered for 15-20 mins, until they are soft and falling apart, stirring occasionally.  Add the lemon zest and juice and turn off the heat. Throw in that parsley at the very end, as a garnish when you serve.

You can add shredded kale or spinach to this recipe at the very end and serve with rice or quinoa to make a complete meal.

Lentil soup with kale and mushrooms

I just made this today because I had a leek that needed to be used and I didn’t feel like tofu and mushrooms, but had already prepped a bunch of mushrooms. Also, I had the mushroom soaking liquid on hand, but if you soak mushrooms to get it, chop them up and add them with the mushrooms. It was GREAT, exactly what I wanted after a run on a winter day. Below is 2 dinner portions.

1.5 cups sliced fresh mixed mushrooms (I had oyster, shiitake, crimini and button)
1 medium carrot chopped
1 thinly sliced leek
1 cup cooked small green or black lentils
1/2 cup soaking liquid from dried mushrooms
1/4 cup strained tomatoes (or chopped tomatoes if you prefer)
1/2 tsp each dried thyme and red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1 cup or so of veg broth
2 cups dinosaur kale
olive oil

Directions

  1. In a pot, sweat the leeks, carrots and mushrooms in oil until tender.
  2. Add the lentils and after 2 minutes add the herbs, mushroom liquid and tomatoes.
  3. Add broth – you may use more or less than a cup depending on your tastes. Once the carrots and mushrooms are almost ready, add the kale and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Serve with olive oil.

Minestrotto

This is a risotto/minestrone hybrid. The risotto rice adds starch and thickness to the broth. The soup is even more delicious on the second day. Freeze on the 3rd day if you have leftovers.

minestrotto

5-6 cups of veg broth (I make this by simmering for 45 min in 10 cups water: 1 leek, 2 carrots, 1 lg onion, 1 peeled apple, 2 shallots, 2 celery stalks, a handful of parsley stems)

4 shallots
1 leek
2 carrots (med-lg, 3 or 4 small)
2 potatoes
1 celery stalk (strung)
1/4 bulb fennel
1 zucchini, small

1/4 cup white wine
some olive oil
1 cup arborio rice (or other risotto rice)

All veggies should be chopped small – almost diced (as in minestrone). Heat broth on the stove. For best results, use a ceramic pot or dutch oven for the minestrotto.

Add shallots to pot with 1/4c water. Boil down to release their flavour for about 10 min, you can add some salt.

Add rice and some olive oil and stir about 1-3 min. Add the wine, stir and allow to cook down (wine can be omitted, it isn’t crucial).

Add all veggies except the zucchini. Add 1-1.5 ladle of broth. Carry on in this way, ladle by ladle like a risotto until the rice is swelling and there is a good amount of broth in the pot (nothing is sticking). Add the zucchini.

You can put the lid on, stir occasionally and taste every now and then, adjusting the salt and paying attention to the rice. Once the rice is soft and has released its starch, you are done (the veggies should be soft). This takes maybe 10 minutes. You can add red pepper flakes for some heat. Let the soup sit for 10 min once you have turned off the heat.

Serve with minced parsley and olive oil.

Squash Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
ginger chopped, ~3 inches (no need to peel)
a few garlic cloves, whole, crushed
3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
3 potatoes, peeled, chopped
2 or 3 large carrots, peeled, chopped
2 cups veg broth
~ 2tbs ea tumeric, cumin,
red pepper flakes, salt to taste
1 tbsp genmai miso paste (Sonray brand)

Heat oil in heavy pot over high heat.

Add onions, garlic and ginger to the pan with tumeric, cumin, and red pepper flakes, soften 3-5 min. *count the number or pieces of ginger and garlic before you add them so you know how many you need to remove.

Add squash to pot and sauté, about 5 minutes. Remove garlic and ginger.

Add potatoes and carrots and stir 2 minutes. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. The squash will melt into the soup base.

Put 1/4 cup of the hot broth in a small bowl, add the miso, and stir with a fork until the miso is dissolved. Stir the mixture back into the broth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with brown rice.

Minestrone

One of the best things that came from my relationship with my ex, was a few of his grandmother’s recipes. She is to this day living in Northern Italy and is a wonderful cook. The best soup I’ve ever had was made by her (but I didn’t get that recipe – dang – too late now)!

Minestrone

1.5 L of water
cut vegetables in cubes:
potatoes 3
celery 2 stalks
carrots 4
fennel 1 small
ginger 1 small nut (put in whole)
leek (better than onion) 1
zucchini 2 (small)
squash 2 little pieces (~1/2 chopped)

When the water boils add the vegetables and cook for 20 min. Hold back the carrots and zucchini, wait about 3 or 4 min, then add the carrots, wait a few more minutes, then add the zucchini.

Store in glass jars: while still hot, put soup in jars, seal tightly and put upside down. This locks the jars. When cool, put in fridge, will keep up to 1 week.

Serve with brown rice, olive oil, and pecorino cheese on the table (if you’re not vegan).

Green Pea Soup with Tarragon

Makes 4-6 servings.

3.5 cups shelled fresh peas or 1 package frozen petite peas (750g)
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots
2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
Sunflower sprouts for garnish (optional)

Preparation
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden and almost tender, about 7 minutes.

Add remaining peas, 2 cups broth, and 2 tablespoons tarragon; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil until flavors blend and peas are tender, about 7 minutes.

Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup until completely smooth.

Return soup to same saucepan. Bring to simmer and thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprouts.

Original Recipe