Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Itchin to get in a kitchen

I'm really feeling the creative juices flow. I want to cook up some experimental food and need guinea pigs to taste it. On the list: savory biscotti, grilled shrimp with chermoula marinade, posole, green chile stew, vegi chili, pizzas. Oh i'm getting hungry just thinking about it all!

The good thing is i now have been cleared to run by my ortho. I fell 6 weeks ago and broke my collarbone, that put a monkey wrench in my fall cooking plans since i couldn't even lift a full pot of soup! When i was able to ditch the sling and lift a pot I made a stick to your ribs, lentil soup

Clean out the fridge lentil veg soup

1 16 oz bag of lentils, washed and drained
2 T olive oil or canola oil
8 cups of water, veg stock or chicken stock (your choice, I used chicken stock, homemade of course!)
1 14 oz can of tomatoes - fire roasted would have been great here too!
1 leek, washed and finely chopped
2 carrots - small dice
2 celery ribs - small dice
2 cloves garlic - just smashed and left whole
1 parsnip (like i said, cleaning out the fridge)
1 poblano pepper - small dice
1 yellow pepper - small dice
fresh baby spinach about 1/2 bag or 3 really big handfuls
salt and fresh ground pepper TT (to taste)
soy sauce - low sodium, preferably Tamari or Shoyu if you can find it.
Really good olive oil and smoked sea salt for serving

In a large soup pot, heat about 2T olive oil, and add leeks. saute for about a minute, add carrot, celery, parsnip and garlic. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Don't go heavy on the salt, because you are going to add soy sauce later and finish with some salt, but you need some salt at this point to build flavor. If you have to stick to a low sodium diet, don't salt at this point and just add the salt at the end. You will get the most bang for the buck that way.

Add peppers and cook for a few minutes. Add rinsed lentils and stir, add tomatoes, stir. Add liquid. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.

Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, covered with a few holes for venting. Check volume of liquid frequently and add more if needed. I started with 6 cups and ended up adding the final 2 because i ran out of liquid. Add spinach. Add about 3T soy sauce to start, taste your soup and adjust seasoning as you like it.

For serving, a big bowl of soup - drizzel some really good olive oil on top and sprinkle some smoked sea salt on top too. serve with some crusty bread. Enjoy!

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