ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking

How to beet Lentil Soup

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How to beet Lentil Soup

It’s likely we can all agree that 2014 has been the year for soup so far. Soup is a winter staple for me. This week my craving was for lentil soup but as it was too cold to go to the grocery store and since I was out of carrots, I changed up my usual recipe and came up with…

Lentil Beet Soup

2 cups dried lentils (regular or french lentils)
2.5 quarts water
2 T olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh beets (stemmed and peeled)
3/4 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
dash of cayenne pepper/to taste
2 large chicken, beef or vegetable bouillon cubes
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t Liquid Smoke
1 large baked, steamed or microwaved sweet potato (optional)
1 uncooked chicken breast (with or without bone) or 1/2 lb. firm tofu (optional)

In a large soup pot, saute the veggies (including garlic) in the olive oil for 10 minutes. Add water and lentils to pot along with bay leaf, cloves (tie bay leaf and cloves in cheese cloth for ease of removal later), cayenne, pepper, bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for ~ 2 hours. Add Liquid Smoke. Add an uncooked chicken breast or 1/2 lb firm tofu (cut into spoon sized slabs) for last 10 minutes if you’d like. Discard the cheesecloth, remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces and return to pot.
Garnish with a ball of sweet potato (use a melon baller).
Serve hot. 6-8 servings


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What’s in your pantry TODAY?

Inspired by the cold weather and my theme of using food on hand, I present a recipe for a Vegan Lentil Salad – 6 servings

2 cups lentils (french or regular)

2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

2 leeks, finely chopped

2 large carrots, finely chopped

In a large saucepan combine lentils, water, broth, wine and bay leaves. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add carrots and leeks and simmer another 15 minutes.

Drain lentils and combine with the following mustard dressing:

2 cloves of minced garlic

2 T dijon mustard

3 T red wine vinegar (not balsamic)

1/3 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil (olive oil is a little heavy -flavored for this salad)

Whisk the dressing together, add the herbs and the greens as below:

1 t dried thyme or marjoram

1 cup pea shoots, parsley, alfalfa sprouts or other mild flavor green, finely chopped

Taste for salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature

Enjoy!