Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

So, are you thinking I should just change the blog name to Soups and Sweets?  Or just Soups and Soups?  That would be a little more accurate, wouldn't it?  What can I say?  We make a big pot of soup every Sunday to eat throughout the week and they're too good not to share.  So here's one more:

Makes about 8 servings.

Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup french green lentils

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

about 2" x 2" piece parmesan rind

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (omit if you prefer low spice)

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chopped collard greens, stems discarded

salt, to taste

juice of half a lemon

In a large pot, over low heat, sweat onions and garlic over low heat until soft and sticky, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat to medium.  Add carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf, parmesan rind, cumin, pepper, chile powder, thyme leaves and chile flakes.  Give it a good stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Skim off and discard any foam that occurs on the surface.  Stir in collard greens, season with salt and lemon juice.  Remove parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving. 

Healthy Kale + White Bean Soup

I know, I know.  My last post was a soup too.  I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed eating everything and anything I wanted to over the holidays.  But it's 2015 and time to get back to healthier habits.   On my agenda for January are getting back to the gym, maybe a run here or there, avoiding alcohol and treats that are obviously bad for me (sorry french fries), getting enough rest, generally being a healthy person and eating lots and lots of vegetables.  And I'm starting with this soup!  I served it over red quinoa and it was great.  Nothing like a little kale and quinoa.  

Makes about 8 servings.  

Kale + White Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 bulb fennel, quartered, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped

leaves of several sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

2 quarts vegetable stock

28 oz tim cannellini beans 

4 cups chopped kale (curly or lacinato)

S + p, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium low heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Add fennel, tomato, thyme and chile powder, cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in beans and kale.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, additional chile powder and lemon juice.  (We used a whole lemon.)  

 

 

Broccoli + Brown Sauce

broc02.JPG
broc01.JPG
broco3.JPG

This was the side to peking duck we made a few weeks ago.  To make it a meal, toss with cooked tofu and serve over brown rice.  

Serves 4 as a side. 

Broccoli + Brown Sauce

2 heads broccoli, sliced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Splash of oil

1 teaspoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

1 inch ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 long red hot chile, seeded, sliced

Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute.  Drain and transfer to ice bath.  Once cool, drain.  

In a small bowl, mix soy, oyster sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Set aside.  

Heat a splash of oil in a skillet or wok over medium high heat.  Add broccoli, ginger, garlic and chile.  Cook 2 minutes stirring frequently.  Add sauce.  Bring to a boil and add corn starch slurry.  Cook until thickened. Serve.

Ramps!

ramps-4.jpg
ramps-1.jpg
ramps-5.jpg
ramps-2.jpg
ramps-3.jpg

I had ramps for the first time this weekend and can't believe how delicious they are.   

Ramps are a wild leek that are found mostly on the east coast.  They have a very short season of a joyous two weeks and are one of the first spring vegetables to show up at farmers markets.  They taste like a delicate garlicky onion.  The whole ramp is edible, minus the roots.  

Serves 2. 

Springtime Ramp Pasta

4-5 oz dried linguini

10 fava bean pods

1 oz morel mushrooms, brushed clean and halved

2 tablespoons water

olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 bunch ramps (about 9) 

juice of half a lemon

s+p

grated pecorino cheese, for serving

Cook pasta, drain and rinse.  Set aside. 

Fava beans have to be shelled twice.  First, remove outer pod, blanch beans for 60 seconds, drain and remove thin shell.  Discard shells and set clean, blanched beans aside. 

Clean ramps and remove roots.  Cut stem just under the leaves.  Set leaves aside.  Slice bulbs/stem in half lengthwise.  Set aside. 

In a pan, heat a teaspoon of olive oil.  Add morels, cook about 30 seconds and carefully add 2 tablespoon of water.  (Water will hiss and splash a bit.)  Cook until morels are soft and water has been absorbed.  Push morels to on side of pan and on the other side, heat a splash of olive oil and red pepper flakes.  Add ramp stem/bulbs, combine with morels and cook about 1 minute.  

Add fava beans and ramp leaves.  Cook until leaves wilt.  Add pasta, cook until hot.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

Serve with a grating of pecorino cheese.