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Lentil Broth

While you can eat this broth as is, I think of it more as a base to which I add whatever veggies I have on hand, beans and/or grains and possibly a few additional spices. It’s perfect for a cold day, and the lentils enrich the broth and make it surprisingly hearty even with out add-ins.

red lentil broth with potatoes, cabbage and barley

Red lentil broth with potatoes, cabbage and barley

Lentil Broth

1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped celery (aim for roughly an equal amount of onions, carrots, and celery)
2 tablespoons oil([I use a mix of grapeseed and olive)
salt and pepper to taste
2-4 chilis japones or other small red dried chilis (optional)
1/2 cup small red lentils of peeled mung beans (small lentils are key! You can make this with larger lentils or split peas, it will just take much longer to cook)
1 12-oz can of tomato sauce or puree

1. In a soup pan, heat the oil and saute the onion, carrot and celery. When the onion starts to get translucent, add the pepper and chili. Continue to cook until the onion is soft but not caramelized. Add the lentils and salt and stir to coat.

2. Add the tomato sauce and 5-6 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the lentils dissolve into the broth, about 45 minutes to an hour. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread on a cold winter night.

To fancy up the broth into a full blown soup, add some spices at the end of step 1 (when you add the lentils). Consider using curry powder, ras el hanout, basil, oregano or any other herbs or spices that you like. Then add some vegetables and/or canned beans in step 2 when you add the liquid. Consider using potatoes, cabbage, brocoli, green beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, zucchini, hominy, barley or other vegetables and grains that you like.

You can also stir in chopped cilantro at the end once you turn off the heat. This is especially nice with the mung beans and curry powder flavors.

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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in cooking, food

 

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Stir Fry Soup

I make a lot of stir frys, especially in the summer. Sometimes there aren’t any leftovers, but sometimes the leftover stretch out over multiple days. One the first night of stir fry, we eat it hot. On the second night of stir fry, we eat it cold (with new rice), and on the third night of stir fry, we make soup.

Stir Fry Soup

As you can tell by the tide line on the bowl, I remembered half way through dinner to take a picture.

Stir Fry Soup

This is a really loose recipe, since it depends on what leftovers you have.

Saute a chopped onion in a 50/50 mix of chili oil and your regular oil of choice. Once the onion is translucent and just about to start caramelizing, add about 6 cups of water. Add less water if you don’t want much soup or if you don’t have much left over stir fry.

Now add miso to taste, approximately 1 tablespoon of miso per cup of water. Stop to taste after you’ve added the first half of the miso, because different misos pack a different punch. If you find you’ve added way too much, add some more water.

Left over rice or noodles? Throw it in! Or add some Korean rice cake sticks.

Now add your leftover stir fry, including any liquid/sauce. Did your awesome tofu make it to day three? Add it! You ate it while waiting for the onion to cook? That’s okay, just add the last bit of sauce and greens sticking to the side of the tupperware.

Do you have some kimchi? Chop some of that up and add it too. Maybe add some sambal oelek too, if you like it spicy.

Bring the soup to a simmer. Done! Since the stir fry is already cooked, you only need to heat things through.

This soup is really satisfying, very quick to make, and dresses up leftovers so they seem like new.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in cooking, food

 

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Dinner 5/2/13: Dad bring homes the soup

My dad made dinner for us again on Thursday, this time a soup he invented. Let’s call it Pasta e Fagioli with doenjang (Korean miso/soybean pate) and gochujang (Korean chili paste).

Dad's Bean Soup

I of course put cheese on mine. This is my sister’s vegan version.

The gochujang added a really nice heat, not so spicy that it overpowered the rest of the soup, but definitely noticeable on your tongue. The doenjang was more subtle, but it added both a savory element and salt. It balanced well with the spice of the gochijang.

The soup also had bow tie pasta, peruvian beans, red chard and the soup basics of onions, carrots and tomatoes. This was the first time I’ve had Peruvian beans, and they are really nice. The skin stays firm enough to keep the beans intact, but isn’t tough or nasty and the bean meat gets soft and creamy. I think they’d be great in other bean applications like chili, bean salad, or even refried beans.

The one thing I didn’t like about the soup was that dad cooked it in a cast iron pot, and it gave it a metallic flavor. He and my sister didn’t notice it though, so it’s probably not an issue for most people.

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2013 in food

 

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Dinner 2/13/13: Oatmeal Soup

I first had oatmeal soup at my friend Shaenon’s house, on a night when I wasn’t feeling that great. It made for a very comforting dinner, and I like to make my version on nights when I’m feeling a bit droopy. There’s very little prep, and it cooks quickly too. And it makes a lot, so there’s leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day.

You'd never know there was oatmeal in there...

I like to top it with parmesan cheese, as I do with most thigns.

1 onion, chopped
3 cups chopped cabbage (this is about 1 small head, or 1/2 of a larger head)
2 cups cubed potatoes (I like to use the little ones, and just cut them in half)
1 cup sliced carrots
(turnips, parsnips and/or celery are all good optional additions)
2-3 bay leaves
1 12-oz can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup steel cut oatmeal (NOT rolled oats. I was low on oatmeal this time, but you can add up to 1 cup if you want a thicker soup. Just be sure to stir occasionally to keep the oatmeal from sticking to the pot)
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the bay leaves and heat for a few moments to release the oils.
Add the tomato sauce and 4-6 cups water or broth, then all the vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes.
Add the oatmeal and cook for another 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in cooking, food

 

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