Thursday, March 7, 2013

Spicy Lentil Soup with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Spicy Lentil Soup with Sun Dried Tomatoes
It’s March and I’m definitely ready to expose my red polished toes and wear flip flops but, today nor anytime soon is that  going to happen as Winter still wants to hang around. Today is forecasted to snow, which isn’t unusual on the East coast. At the moment flecks of it are floating around but not yet committed to coming down in a flurry. At least snow is pretty and brings about a coziness that I love, when it does snow I’ve got plenty of windows to watch when it happens, in the meantime, I’ll have some hot soup. 
I have this wonderful cookbook called Moosewood Restaurant Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day filled with unique savory soups, hearty stews, sauces, salads, rice and grain dishes using all whole foods that are accessible and quick to make.  I hadn’t looked at in years. My favorite recipe was the spicy black bean soup but now looking at the book again years later I’m seeing recipes I somehow overlooked, so now I’m rediscovering the book and excited to explore the many dishes I skipped first time around. 
The recipe below is adapted from the spicy black bean soup, in fact it was the first dish I made for my boyfriend, well actually it was leftovers from the night before which I heated up for him, but he still loved it, we’re still together. This dish is flavorful, spicy and hearty, you can dunk grain bread or 7 grain tortilla in the broth and maybe add a spoon full of home made vegan spicy sour cream!.

Enjoy and happy March!

1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 cup brown lentils rinsed
3 carrots cut into small rounds
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups or 14 oz can roasted crushed tomatoes with juice
¼ tsp cayenne or my preference 1 chipotle in adobe sauce minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp corriander
2 tsp maple syrup
10 sundried tomatoes -  not in oil.
Mushrooms - sliced
Kale or spinach,  - optional added at end
Cilantro – optional

Re hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water if they are dry then turn off the heat and let sit until soft. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes once they are soft.  In the meantime chop the onions, garlic and slice the mushrooms. 

Sauté the onions for 4 minutes in oil until soft, add the garlic, chipotle pepper, sundried tomatoes, cumin, coriander and sauté for 30 seconds, add ½ cup of the broth and stir 30 seconds, add the tomatoes, and stir, add the lentils and carrots, and stir one minute, add the remainder broth and bring to a boil then simmer 35 minutes covered, add the maple syrup, and mushrooms turn off the heat and let sit 5 more minutes covered until the mushrooms have softened. If using spinach or kale add it at this time.

Option: Serve with either a tortilla, bread, vegan sour cream, and top with cilantro, season more if necessary

Note:  I used cherry tomatoes in place of canned,  tossed in oil and sea salt and roasted them in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes.  Do this if you don’t have a can of tomotatoes. I then chopped the tomatoes in a blender.  

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