March 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
It turns out—now that we are paying attention—a number of our on-hand recipes are vegan. While it’s nice to cruise online looking for appropriate recipes for our new two-thirds vegan lifestyle, we need only turn to our own recipe collection to find something without meat, fish, dairy, etc.
Jennifer’s Red Lentil Soup with Spinach, for example. She collected this recipe from a local adult-ed class on soup making she attended 10-15 years ago. She just recently found it again, after I had made a batch of the Moosewood lentil soup. Lentils are pretty friggin’ amazing, if you ask me. It’s my favorite dry bean, if only because you don’t have to soak it any more than 30 minutes, which you can easily incorporate into the cooking process (see below). The addition of the spinach is inspired, tasty and I am sure, good for you, as well.
- 1-2 TBS evoo
- 1 onion
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed (I guess green would be fine, too)
- 4-5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp EACH of thyme, oregano, basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lb. spinach or Swiss chard, torn into pieces
-Saute the onion in the oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and celery and saute another few minutes until just soft.
-Add the herbs, lentils and 4 cups of the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. If it’s too thick for your liking, add up to a cup of water.
-When lentils are soft, add the salt and spinach. Stir. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Jennifer likes to add a swirl of sherry vinegar on top of her bowl of soup. I add a dash of balsamic vinegar. Try it without the vinegar first, then with the vinegar. The addition really pulls out the flavor of the lentils and adds an acidic brightness. You’ll also want to keep a slice or two of fresh bread on hand for dunking.
You may want to double the batch. This soup is even better in subsequent days, and is nice as your vegan lunch dish.