Friday, December 5, 2008

Easy Peasy (red lentil & ginger soup/ bean soup)

Vegan is a piece of vegan cake. Although the amount of beans that we've been eating is a little strange, for lack of a better word. Its been soup for the past 2 nights and bean burritos for lunch. Usually these bean dishes are accompanied by either cheese or sour cream, there is something to that, the fats help to balance the carbohydrates. But we've just been throwing some fresh avocado on there and mm mm. For anyone who jumped on the low fat train of the eighties, avocados are great for you, do not deny yourself, try the guacamole! The funny thing about this is that beans, although an obvious choice of protein for many vegetarians, were chosen quite arbitrarily. I just happen to have made a lentil soup and mixed bean soup and had these burritos available. Go figure. Thats all it takes, seriously. Spend an hour making some soup and you have saturated fat free meals for days! Throw some avocado on there and you don't even feel deprived. These things taste good man...good.

Tonight we are having my favorite comfort meal minus the biscuits. It'll be seitan (which is a wheat gluten meat substitute), swiss chard, sweet potatoes and miso gravy. Effing delicious. Recipes are to follow, but first lets start with the soups.

Red Lentil and Ginger
got this one from Chops mom and have added a new ingredient every time I make it, usually whatever is in the fridge that has to get used, it has made for a great soup though. Super fast too done in no time.

Original recipe + Add Ins
3/4 cup red lentils
1 Tbl. Olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves diced garlic
1 inch piece of ginger grated
1 diced sweet potato
1 14 oz can of garbanzo beans
4-5 stalks of kale washed and cut into bite sized pieces or spinach or whatever green you have that is about to go bad!
1 Tsp of cumin
1 Tsp of salt
1 Tsp of pepper
1 Tsp of ground ginger
4 cups of vegetable stock

Any or all of the Italicized ingredients can be left out, I added them in and they do taste good
Saute the onion in the OO till translucent 5 minutes or so.
Add garlic, ginger, and sweet potato and saute for 2 minutes.
Stir in red lentils, garbanzo beans and greens and saute for another minute.
Add Veg stock, bring to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add S+P to taste.

Bean Soup
You need a slow cooker for this one, or leave it on the stove for a few hours while you go about your business (or use canned beans and cook for less time).

1 cup dried kidney beans
1 cup of dried pinto beans
1 can of corn
1 can of diced tomatos in their juices
5 cups of veg stock
2 bell peppers (I use red and orange) diced
2 onions diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbl. Olive oil
1 Tbl chili powder
1 Tbl Sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbl cumin
1 tsp coriander

Saute Onions on medium heat in OO till translucent 5 minutes
Add in garlic saute 1 minute
Add in peppers saute 1 minute
Add in dried beans and spices, mix well
Add in cans of corn and tomatoes mix well
Add in broth.
Bring to boil and then to simmer for 3-4 hours till beans are cooked. If using canned beans it only needs about an hour, but the long simmer time lets the flavors really meld well.

Happy Souping

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