Monday, September 29, 2008

Just too Good, I had to share

So, because I meditated/rested through chemo, napped when I got home, and have an all around chipper attitude from hanging out with my plants and family this afternoon, I had loads of energy for cooking. I made this recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I was a veggie girl for 7 years, til one day, I went by a Outback, and the craving for steak overtook me.

But this book is a bible for integrating more vegetarian recipes into the mix. Pick a vegetable and she knows 50 ways to use it.

I post this for two reasons. One,going through chemo, I need protein, but am not to keen on meat most days. This is a DELICIOUS recipe. Since I had the energy to get myself down to the farmers market yesterday, I had farm fresh ingredients. Two, this goes back to my last post. I LOVE to cook from the local farmer. I feel alive, I feel my hands are cleansed and energized, I feel my body relax and the smell of rosemary and thyme dance around my kithcen. I feel so ALIVE to make food the feeds you down to your bones. So, tonight, I cooked! I am so happy to have the stamina and energy back to do so!!!! And so....may I present:

Lentil Minestrone

2 TB. olive oil
2 C. finely chopped onions
2 TB. tomato paste
1/4 C. chopped parsley
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 carrots, diced
1 cup celery or celery root, diced
salt & freshly milled pepper to taste
1 C. French Green Lentils, sorted and rinsed
Aromatics: 2 bay Leaves, 8 Parsley branches, 6 Thyme sprigs
9 C. water or Veg. Broth
soy sauce or GF tamari to taste
1 bunches fresh spinach, chard, or broccoli rabe
2 C. cooked small pasta (I did GF Spirals!)

Heat the oil in a wide soup pot with the onion.
Saute over hight heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, parsley, garlic, vegetables, and 2 teaspoons sald and cook 3 minutes more.
lentils, aromatics, and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Taste for salt and season with pepper. If it needs more depth, add soy sauce to taste, starting with 1 Tablespoon. (The soup may seem bland at this point, but the plaveors will come together when the soup is finished). Remove the aromatics.

BOIL the greens in salted water until they are tender and bright green.
them coarsely.
Just before serving, add the greens, and the pasta to the soup and heat through.
Serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled into each bowl, a generous grind of pepper, and the Parmesean (we used Vegan Parmesan for Bug).

The verdict in the household:

All around favorite and must tag and make again over and over. SO good. Bug ate it until the last bit was gone. Great for a crisp fall evening. I would suggest following it up with Baked Apples for dessert. Very simple. Yum

(who, in one incarnation in her 20's, was an assistant chef for a very nice restaurant)
Bon Appetite!

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