Tuesday, November 13, 2012
November Gratitude - Day Thirteen
Today I am thankful for today's rainy, drizzly, downright cold and gray soup weather!
This is the soup I've been making making weekly for the last few weeks. I created it during the October Unprocessed Challenge. I needed a soup that didn't have a stock base because none of the stock containers I had on hand fit the challenge. This is easy, fast, nutritious and so delicious. It's also low in calorie and inexpensive both of which are always a good thing.
I love cooking with Tumeric as it is a great anti-inflammatory and great for aches and pains and I add even more garlic when fighting off a bug. The spices are the key to the flavor and you can vary the veggies depending on what you have on hand. I like a blend of onion, carrots and butternut squash the best. I've been cheating and buying peeled chunks of butternut squash at Trader Joe's because it's so fast. I would love to try pumpkin but Chris really has a pumpkin aversion. If it sounds good to you, go for it and let me know how it is. The red lentils and spice combination are similar to Dal, hence the name.
In a large soup/stock pot, sauté
1 or 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 pounds chopped veggies - approximate amount, include at least 1 large onion
3 cloves Garlic, or more to taste
1 teaspoon Tumeric
1 teaspoon Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne or one fresh Cayenne Pepper, sliced and de-seeded.
Continue to sauté until spices are fragrant and golden but not browned.
Cover vegetables with boiling water making sure the water level is about two inches over the veggies to leave room for the lentils and mushrooms later. Simmer over low heat for an hour or until you're nearly ready for dinner. Simmering longer just mingles the flavors.
When veggies are soft, use an immersion (stick) blender to purée thoroughly. Then add:
1 pound Red Lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 pound sliced mushrooms
Stir occasionally as the lentils cook and the soup thickens. It takes about fifteen minutes for me.
If it's a little too thick for your taste you can thin it with more water. Add:
Salt & Pepper to taste.
I love to top a bowl with a large handful of chopped cilantro to give it a nice, fresh and healthy kick.
Gabby, there's a jar in the fridge waiting for you.