Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

Dedicated to my fellow parishioners at the Episcopal Church of St. Luke in the Fields, Greenwich Village, NYC

IngredientsVegan
7 cups Vegetable Broth
2 cups Red Lentils, dry, rinsed
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups Sweet Yellow Onion, diced
2 cups crushed Tomatoes
1/2 cup flat-leaf Parsley, chopped fine
1 cup Celery, diced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp Zaatar
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp ground Marjoram
1/2 tsp ground Coriander Seed
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
1/4 tsp Salt

Lemon wedges

Directions:

  • In a gallon size pot on medium heat, combine the Onion, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil; cook until the onions softens.
  • Add the Garlic, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, and Celery. Continue to saute until the Celery starts to soften.
  • Add all the other spices, and mix well so that the spices get into the oil and juices in the pot.
  • Add the Tomato, Vegetable Broth, and Lentils; bring to a boil, stirring often so that nothing sticks.
  • Reduce to a simmer, add the Parsley, and let cook until the Lentils become tender.
  • Taste, and adjust the seasoning and spices to your preferred tastes.
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge. Squirt the juice on the Soup.

Makes about 6 servings

NOTES:Lentil Soup is eaten in various parts of the world. This recipe utilizes spices from Northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Zaatar a spice blend used in North Africa, especially Egypt and Libya, often added to meats or rubbed in olive oil on flat bread. It is made up of Sumac, Oregano, Sesame Seed, often with other spices.

Lentil soup can be modified to your prefered tastes and needs. You can add chopped spinach or kale, or diced carrots or sweet potatoes. Keep in mind if you add additional starches, you may need to add additional spices. This meal is vegan, however one can add meat like chicken or lamb to it–or even sausage. It is also common to garnish with sour cream or yogurt.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with Quinoa

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with QuinoaShrimp and Sausage Jambalaya with Quinoa

Ingredients
1 lb jumbo Shrimp, peeled, de-veined
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Quinoa
2 cups Andouille Sausage, sliced
1 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Green Bell Peppers, chopped
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 Bay Leaf
2 tsp Thyme, fresh, chopped (if dried 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp Oregano, fresh, chopped (if dried 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, Ground
Tabasco Sauce to taste

Directions:

  • In a large dutch oven, melt the butter and brown the Andouille Sausage.
  • Add the Bell Pepper, Yellow Onion, and Celery, and saute until it is soft.
  • Add the Garlic and stir for another minute or so.
  • Add all Herbs, Shrimp, and Chicken Stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the Quinoa and cook, covered for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add Tabasco Sauce to taste–some like it hotter than others.

Makes 4-6 servings

NOTES: Jambalaya is a traditional dish from Louisiana made from rice and akin to Paella. I thought it would be fun to try this dish with Quinoa instead since I’m not a big fan of Rice. I must say I was quite pleased with the result.

You can add Chicken to this recipe, as most Jambalaya recipes do include chicken. It would be cooked at the same time as the Andouille. Some Jambalaya, especially that near New Orleans is known as “Creole” vs. “Cajun”. The only big difference I’ve been able to note, other than mild spice variations, is the use of Tomatoes in the Creole version. I chose to go with the Cajun style, lacking the tomatoes since it is the Cajuns that are my familial cousins.

Céleri Rémoulade – Celeriac Salad

Céleri Rémoulade

Ingredients:
1 Celeriac Bulb, cleaned
1 Carrot, cleaned
1 small Cucumber, seeded and Julianne cut.
3 Shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 cup Walnuts, crushed
1 cup Greek-Style Yoghurt
1 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Almond Oil
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp fresh Mint, minced
1 Tbsp fresh Dill, minced
2 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

Directions:

  • Clean the Celeriac root by removing any scraggly roots and outer surface. Cut into pieces small enough to be easy to grate. I prefer to use my Food Processor’s food grater, so I make the pieces big enough to fit through the feeder. If you shred by hand, you may want them a good size for holding. Do the same thing with the Carrot.
  • Shred both the Celeriac and Carrot.
  • In a large bowl, combine the Celeriac, Carrot, Shallots, Cucumber, and Walnuts, and toss with your hands to mix well.
  • In a separate bowl combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together into a dressing.
  • Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients and mix well.

NOTES: Celeriac is one of those under-used vegetables in my opinion. Honestly, I don’t know why–its not too difficult to prepare, and you can eat it raw or cooked in any way imaginable that most root vegetables are cooked. Now regarding the Rémoulade itself. Traditionally, this would be made with Mayonnaise, and would not have Ginger and maybe a different set of spices. I found that a little bland and had to add some kick to it, but not overpower the fresh-taste of the Celeriac itself. The Rémoulade can be served as a side dish, or in a similar fashion to Cole Slaw–though it is not as strong. Many folks serve it as a side to fish. I prefer to eat it by itself as a side salad.

Curry Chicken Salad on Mesclun Greens

Ingredients:
1 whole roasted Chicken
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, minced
1 cup Yellow Onion, diced
1 cup Celery, thinly cut and diced
1 cup White Grapes, diced
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp Mint, minced
1 Tbsp Cilantro, minced
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ginger powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
8 cups Mesclun Greens
1 cup Cherry Tomatoes
4 hard boiled eggs, cut into wedges

Directions:

  • Prepare the chicken ahead of time. If you cannot roast your own, get a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Avoid using Canned Chicken – YUCK. Set aside. To prepare, remove the chicken mean from the bones, cartilage, and skin. Dice the chicken meat-if for sandwiches, I recommend baby-bite size pieces.
  • Combine with Garlic, Onions, Jalapeño Pepper, Celery, and Grapes.
  • In a Mortar, add the herbs and spices and crush with Pestle.
  • Add the Mayonnaise to the herbs and spices, and mix well.
  • Incorporate the herb mayonnaise into the chicken mixture, and stir well.
  • Serve upon Mescaline Greens, garnished with Tomatoes and Eggs.

Variations:
One could use the same amount of Roasted Turkey. Here are some additional recipes below that one could employ:

Curry Chicken Tea Sandwiches
Curry Chicken-Stuffed Endives

Sourdough Dressing

Ingredients:Vegetarian Variation
1 loaf Sourdough Bread, crust removed, cut into 1/2″ cubes (stale is better)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
1 large Yellow Onion, diced
4 stalks Celery, diced
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Apples, cored and diced
3 Tbsp fresh Sage, finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme, finely chopped
3 Eggs
2 cups Chicken Broth (Vegetable is fine for Vegetarians)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil for basting the bread (as needed)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • On a baking sheet, spread the Bread Cubes, and brush Olive Oil over them.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until like croutons.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the Butter into the Olive Oil.
  • Add the Onions and Celery and cook down until Onions begin to break down.
  • Add the Apples, Garlic, Sage, and Thyme to the mixture and let simmer.
  • In a large bowl, beat Eggs and add the Broth, stirring well.
  • Incorporate the Onion-Herb mixture into the Broth.
  • Place the Bread croutons into a greased baking dish.
  • Pour the Broth over the croutons, being sure to get all of it covered.
  • Bake Covered for 30 minutes.
  • Increase temperature to 425˚, uncover and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

NOTES: If you are pressed for time, Store-bought croutons can be substituted.


Variations:

Brown 1/2 lb Sausage and mix Drippings and Sausage into the Dressing.
Add 1/2 cup diced roasted Chestnuts.
You can make it spicy by adding a minced Jalapeno or two when cooking the Onions.

M›Ṽ: Use Vegetable Broth instead of Chicken Broth.