Tue, 15 Dec 2009
Lentil Escarole Soup
Continuing on the theme of Glorious Kale, I was in a cooking frenzy last night and made a variation on this Lentil Escarole Soup from The Postpunk Kitchen. It's the first time I've cooked with escarole, and I'm pretty happy with it. Like all green leafy vegetables, you'll want to wash it completely — there's a lot of dirt and grit in a head of escarole.
- Ingredients for my variation (I doubled the recipe, roughly):
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 small carrots, chopped
- 1-1/2 c. green lentils
- 1 14.5 oz can of peeled chopped tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 head escarole, washed completely, large stalky bits removed, chopped
- 1 c nutritional yeast
Sweat the onion, garlic and carrots in olive oil until tender. Add the lentils and tomatoes, a little salt and pepper and 9 cups of water. Note: remember in the Glorious Kale recipe when I said to keep the liquid at the bottom of the steamer from making that dish? This is why, I used that for about 1-1/2 cups of the water I added. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Add the escarole and nutritional yeast, cook for an additional five minutes or so.
Freezes well, tasty with croutons.
The past couple of weeks I haven't been eating well — a combination of being really busy, getting sick and work being a pain left me eating rather unhealthy. After I do this a while I can really tell it, and I get a strong urge to build up my vitamins, so to speak.
Tonight I felt this way, and when I need to stock up on nutrients, especially in the winter, I think of kale. I started with this recipe, for "Kale with Root Vegetables", but with a few additions it became what I call Glorious Kale.
Get yourself a large pot, put an inch or so of water in it and put in the steamer basket. While that's starting, prepare 2 lbs of kale — I just bought a bag of it that size, already chopped up. Peel and chop one parsnip and two turnips into bite sized pieces. Chop up six smallish red potatoes. Throw all of that into the steamer basket, drizzle a bit of kosher salt over it, and cover.
In another pan, sweat a diced yellow onion and 3 minced cloves of garlic in a little bit of oil with a pinch of salt. When all of that is good and soft, the root vegetables in the steamer should be soft but not mushy and the kale completely done. Kick up the heat on the onions and garlic, drop in all the kale and veggies, and saute a bit. Drizzle over just a little bit of sesame oil, balsamic vinegar and some Braggs liquid aminos. Grind on some pepper. If I had some toasted sesame seeds, I'd throw them in now.
Makes about 4 nice sized servings. And, if you have any love at all for all things good and pure, you'll save the liquid in the bottom of the steamer pot and put it in your next soup.
Mon, 07 Dec 2009
Vulgar Bulgar Vegetarian Chili
Winner of the 2009 ITS Chili Cookoff "Luke Skywalker Award". This is less a recipe and more a general guideline for what to dump together to get this chili, because that's exactly what I did.
Take 3 cups of bulgar wheat and soak it in cold water --- it doesn't take long. Drain any remaining water off and put the bulgar in a 6 quart crock pot. Make or buy 1-1/2 cups of sofrito and dump that in. Take a small can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, dump the adobo sauce in, mince up the chilies and dump those in. Add a 28 ounce can of tomato puree and two 14.5 ounce can of diced peeled tomatoes. Dump in 2 14.5 ounce cans of navy beans and 2 of kidney beans. Add a 4 ounce can of roasted and diced green chilies. Dump in 1 cup of nutritional yeast, and toast and grind up 2 tablespoons of cumin and throw in. Mix everything together and salt to taste. Cook overnight in a crock pot on low, adding water if necessary.
It's not overly spicy --- I'm a fan of flavor over fire, but it has a nice residual heat.