vegetarian lentil soup- revisited


A cold rainy night and a potluck dinner with extended family, old friends and new – that calls for big pots of chile and vegetarian lentil soup. This lentil soup has been my favorite for as long as some of those childhood friendships! It’s healthy and satisfying, smells and tastes great, is inexpensive and easy to make, and a virtual “bottomless pot” as it’s delicious as a thick stew or as you add more water while it simmers to feed more people. Goes great with a glass of red wine or a chilled microbrew, a mixed green salad or a bowl of chips, depending on who shows up.

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ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red potato, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 red Serrano or red thai hot peppers, minced
  • 1 medium rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups lentils, culled and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 T each oregano, basil, thyme, and sage to taste
  • 2-3 T red cider vinegar
  • 1 t salt and fresh black pepper to taste, added after soup is cooked
  • Parmesan cheese

instructions:

In large 5 quart soup pot with lid, saute chopped onions and red potato in 2-3 T olive oil. After 2-3 minutes add minced garlic and red peppers, chopped rutabaga, turnip, carrots, and celery, oregano, basil, thyme, and sage, continuing to saute for 2-3 minutes. Add carefully culled and rinsed lentils and basmati rice, stir well. Add canned tomatoes including juice and red cider vinegar. Put 8 cups water on the stove top to heat til near but not boiling, then add 6 cups to the soup pot and stir well. Cover and bring to simmer, then lower heat and cook with lid just slightly cracked open for 1 hour-1.5 hours or so, checking and stirring occasionally. Add more water as it cooks, getting all 8 cups in to create a thick stew, or yet more water to create a thick soup. Test rutabaga, carrots, and lentils for doneness. Once vegetables are soft, lentils and rice fully cooked, add 1 t salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Tastes even better the next day. Freezes well.

butternut squash, green apple, & chevre red rice salad


I finished my Beet and Chevre Red Rice Salad but wanted more! So I thought I’d try a new variation on the fall theme…

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 butternut squash, roasted then cubed
  • 1-2 medium cloves garlic, roasted then minced
  • 1 medium-large granny smith apple, julienned
  • 2-3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 t each rosemary and thyme
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre. gorgonzola would be nice variation.
  • 1/4 cups walnuts
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar

instructions:

Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork and transfer to casserole dish. While rice is cooking, slice 1/2 butternut into 3/4 inch half round slices, remove hard skin, and place on lightly oiled roasting pan along with garlic cloves. Place herbs onto squash, then roast at 375F for about 15 min, flip then roast for another 15-20 min until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Don’t overcook- remove garlic while continuing to cook squash until soft but not mushy. Mince garlic into rice. Chop squash into small cubes, and add to rice.  Chop shallots and julienne the green apples, then add to casserole dish.  Remove stems from spinach, chop into ribbons, then add to rice mixture and stir to mix all well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with walnuts and generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and fresh apples.

beet & chevre red rice salad


IMG_2537This autumn salad recipe was inspired by beautiful yellow and red leaves which had fallen into a sword fern on the Marquam trail recently. Thinking then of yellow and red beets, I remembered a simply delicious side dish my cousin Ian made in August – thinly sliced beets topped with chevre. Green ribbons of spinach, earthy walnuts, and red onion were a natural choice.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 yellow and 1 red medium size beets
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar

IMG_2530_2I used Lotus Foods heirloom Bhutan red rice for this recipe– it has a slightly nutty flavor, a fabulous texture, and beautiful red brown color. So it’s perfect for this autumn salad recipe (and also happens to be my favorite rice for Thai dishes.) I picked a chevre with honey, which is wonderful in how it offsets the raw onion and beets.

instructions:

Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, remove root and rough stem from beets, then cut into quarters and steam or simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Rinse with cold water, then use fingers or sharp knife to remove skin. Chop beets into small cubes. Remove stems from fresh spinach, then slice into ribbons. Transfer rice, spinach, beets and walnuts into casserole dish, mixing well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and beets.