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Lentil and Lemon Soup

1 Nov

Lentil and Lemon Soup or Danny feel better soon soup, is my fiance’s version of Chicken Noodle Soup. Who knew Chicken Noodle Soup wasn’t universal?

So we have been sick, for days. I have never actually made this soup, so I called Danny’s Mom, Mona, to get the recipe.

This soup is full of vitamin C, protein, iron, and fiber- everything you need to feel better when you are sick.

Cooking the lentils is the longest step, but while the lentils are cooking you can prep the rest of the veggies.

An entire head of garlic is used in this recipe. Place peeled garlic cloves and salt in a mortar and grind with pestle until the garlic is a smooth paste.

There is a trick to peeling an entire head of garlic in just seconds, check out this video.

When lentils are soft add the diced potatoes and sautéed onions. Cook until the potatoes are soft.

Add the Swiss chard ( cut into strips) and the now crushed garlic into the pot.

Add the lemon juice and dried mint. Cook for another 5 minutes and this soup is ready to cure!

Mona’s Lentil and Lemon Soup

2 cups dry lentils

12 cups of water

1 head of garlic

6 small white potatoes OR 2 medium potatoes

1 bunch of Swiss chard

1 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon dried mint

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons sea salt

4 lemons

  1. In a large stockpot, add lentil and water. Bring to a boil, then cook on medium heat until lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).
  2. While the lentils are cooking, peel the head of garlic,and place it the mortar with 1 tablespoon of salt and crush with pestle until it is a smooth paste. Add a little more salt in necessary.
  3. Peel and dice potatoes, set aside.
  4. Clean Swiss chard and slice into strips approximately 2 inches long, set aside.
  5. Saute onion with a small amount of olive oil, until soft.
  6. When lentils are soft, add potatoes. Cook on medium heat, until potatoes are soft ( about 10 minutes)
  7. Add the Swiss chard, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Juice the lemons and add the juice into the pot.
  9. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sea salt and the dried mint.
  10. Simmer for another 10 minutes and serve.
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Turkey Chili

30 Oct

I live in Texas, where chili is an art. The following recipe that I call chili is not what most Texans call chili. For a full definition of Texas chili talk to my friend Robert, he is a self proclaimed Chilivangelist. So if you are looking for a traditional Texas chili check out Roberts recipe, if you are looking for a belly warming, healthy, delicious turkey chili; keep reading.

I adore loads of fresh veggies in just about everything I make and chili is no exception. I use a combination of serrano, jalapeno, poblano and multicolored bell peppers. Completing the fresh veggie mix are onions and garlic.

I saute the veggie mix in olive oil till the veggies are softened.

Next I add the ground turkey, for chili I use a turkey that is 85/15. I feel that if you use a turkey more lean than that, the chili will loose some of it’s “meatiness”.

When the turkey has browned I add my special chili spice mix. I guess it’s not really that special but I like the combination. I use a New Mexico chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, and salt.

Now it’s starting to look and smell like chili!

For the tomatoes I insist on using only Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes, they are by far the best tasting canned tomatoes. Now for the controversial ingredient, beans. I use beans in my chili, I am not a natural born Texan and therefor I find it acceptable and delicious to add beans to my chili.

I let all these wonderfully delicious flavors marry for about 30-45 minutes on medium-low heat. This is the perfect amount of time to bake some cornbread.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking I add in a can of sweet corn. This may not be what Texans call chili, but it is a favorite in my house.

Jen’s Turkey Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 poblano peppers, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 orange bell pepper, diced

4 serrano peppers, diced

4 jalapeno peppers, diced

1 pound ground turkey, 85/15

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

2 teaspoons cayenne

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon oregano

2 14.5 oz. cans Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes

2 14.5 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 14.5 oz. can sweet corn, drained

  1. In a large heavy bottom stockpot heat olive oil, add onions, garlic, and all peppers to hot oil. saute on medium-high heat for around 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Crumble ground turkey into pot, breaking up turkey into small pieces as it browns. Cook turkey for aproximatley 10 minutes, till brown.
  3. Add spices to the pot, combining them completely. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add in tomotoes and beans. Stir together and cover the pot. Cook for 30 miuntes over medium-low heat.
  5. Uncover pot and add in the can of corn and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes more.
  6. Serve with cornbread.

A-mazing Bean and Barley Soup

19 Oct

I woke up this morning to 50 degree temperatures, my first thought was soup. I had a collection of dried beans growing in my pantry, so I threw them in a pot to soak for 8 hours.

I used Appaloosa, Anasazi and Adzuki beans. After soaking, I rinsed the beans and added them to 9 cups of vegetable stock and veggies.

I also threw in this baby. A new Mexican dried chili pepper. I figured since I was trying bean soup for the first time, I would try a dried chili for the first time too. I have to say both new experiences were amazing!

The beans, vegetable and broth cooked for an hour and half. At that point I removed the dried chili and puree half the soup.

I added a diced red bell pepper, spices and a cup of barley to the soup and cooked for another 40 minutes.

After the barley was cooked I added salt and pepper.

This soup is hearty, healthy and absolutely delicious!

Bean and Barley Soup

note any combination of beans will work wonderfully

1/2 cup Appaloosa beans

1/2 cup Adzuki beans

1 cup Anasazi beans

9 cups vegetable or chicken stock

3 carrots, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 dried chili pepper, whole

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons thyme

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup pearl barley

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoon salt, to taste

2 teaspoon pepper, to taste

  1. In a large stock pot add soaked beans, stock, carrots, celery, onion, dried chili, bay leaves, thyme, cumin and cayenne.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer for an hour and half.
  3. Remove chili pepper and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree half the soup. Or remove half the soup and puree in blender.
  4. Add pearl barley and diced red bell pepper. Cook for 30 minutes or until barley is tender.
  5. Add salt and pepper, stir.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Chow down on some Chowder

10 Oct

It’s Fall and that means soup season! Living in Austin it doesn’t feel like soup season yet but I’m hoping warm soup will bring cooler temperatures ( a girl can hope).

My first soup of the season is Poblano Corn Chowder.I love hearty soups, I find thin soups never fill me up so I load mine up with lots of veggies.

This Poblano Corn Chowder is filled with carrots, onion, red bell peppers,corn, potatoes, celery, and poblano peppers.

This soup requires quite a bit of prep, but the cooking time is minimal. The soups creaminess comes from heavy cream simmered with chicken stock ( chicken stock replaced with vegetable stock makes this vegetarian).

While the chicken stock and heavy cream simmer, saute the veggies till tender.

When veggies are tender add flour to coat the mix. Add seasoning of white pepper, cayenne, cumin and salt to the liquid.

When heavy cream mixture comes to a slow boil remove from heat and add to the veggies.

Simmer the soup till desired thickness. I love thick, thick soups so I leave mine on the stove about 30 minutes after combined.

After you drink some wine and slice some nice crusty bread the chowder should be ready!

Poblano Corn Chowder

1 large red onion, diced

3 large carrots, diced

5 stalks of celery, diced

1 1/2 cups red potatoes, diced

2 large poblano peppers, diced

1 large red pepper, diced

1 bag of frozen corn

2-4 tablespoons flour

1 quart of chicken stock

1/2 pint heavy cream

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

olive oil

  1. In a large stockpot saute corn, onion, carrots, potatoes, and peppers in a small amount of olive oil. Continue cooking till veggies are softened.
  2. In a separate saucepan combine chicken stock, heavy cream and spices, cook till simmering.
  3. Add flour liberally to veggie mixture until all pieces are coated.
  4. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the veggies until all are combined.
  5. Cook until desired thickness.