Anotheryarn Eats

October 6, 2009

Lentil Soup

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:09 pm

I love soup, but I’m partial to thick, chunky soups that borderline on stew except my soups rarely have large chunks of meat.  Lentil soups were never my favorite, but when I saw this recipe for Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage I knew I had to make it.  Luckily I also had a head of green cabbage waiting to be used in the fridge.  As I finished cooking it occurred to me that this soup looked a lot like my grandmothers vegetable soup (a variety of vegetables  in a broth with tomatoes, ground beef and cabbage).  It was – and that is just fine because I loved my grandmother’s vegetable soup.

I did make some changes to the recipe.  I halved the recipe, since a household of two doesn’t need 8 servings of untested soup.  I skipped the stew-meat since it just struck me as an odd addition, and picked spicy italian sausage over mild italian sausage.  While the lentil variety was not specified, and I suspect they meant the common brown/green lentil, I chose to use french green lentils.  And finally I did not add the tomato and salt according the instructions (when adding the water and lentils) because I was worried about the salt or acid prolonging the cook-time for the lentils; Instead I added the tomato and salt once the lentils had softened, let the pot come back to a simmer and then added the cabbage.

lentilsoup

Lentil Soup with Sausage and Cabbage from How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons
adapted slightly by me (ie this is half a recipe and missing stew meat)

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 lb italian sausage (I chose spicy italian sausage)
  • 2 T red wine vinegar, plus more for the finished soup
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped celery rib
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb french green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz cabbage, cored and shredded (probably half a small cabbage)

In soup pot (I used my 4 qt pot) heat the oil and add the sausage.  Cook until done, breaking it up as it browns.  Once it is cooked (recipe says 15 minutes, I didn’t time it) pour the red wine vinegar into the pan to deglaze it, stirring vigorously to loosen the stuck bits.  Once the vinegar has evaporated remove the pot from the heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a strainer (or plate with paper towels).  Spoon out some of the remaining fat from the pot – you want to have about 1 tablespoon left in the pot.  Put the pot back on the burner and turn to medium.  Add the carrot, celery, and onion to pot and saute until soft, around 5 minutes.  Then add the garlic and stir until fragrant, maybe a minute.  At this point you add the lentils, water and bay leaf and bring it to boil, then turn down to simmer.  Let everything simmer for about 45 minutes, then test lentils to make sure they are tender.  Now add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring it back to a simmer.  Add the shredded cabbage, and let everything simmer for about 15 minutes until the cabbage is soft.  Add a drizzle of red wine vinegar (maybe a tablespoon or so) and taste to adjust seasonings if needed.

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October 1, 2009

eggplant enchiladas, finally

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:37 pm

Last night Tuesday I finally got to making this eggplant enchilada recipe I’ve been meaning to try for years.  As I mentioned, I’m quickly becoming quite enamored of eggplant and having fun trying new recipes.  Like many enchilada recipes this one seemed to take quite a bit of time, but didn’t feel difficult.  I started the evening around 5:30 or 6:0 and put together the recommended sauce recipe (not a true enchilada sauce as it is tomato-based, but tasty).  While it simmered I chopped and toasted and sauted and chopped and sauteed the filling.  I had one lapse in judgement when I chose my 10″ skillet to saute the eggplant filling – bad choice, it was nearly overflowing and I had to stir very carefully as well as use a domed lid to cover the pan.  In the end I found the recipe nice & tasty, but it produced a lot of dishes (silly me, using the food processor for some chopping and grating.

IMG_7254

Mexican Red Sauce from The Moosewood Cookbook

  • a glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cumin
  • 2+ t chili powder (I used closer to 3 t.)
  • 3 c chopped tomatoes (I used 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 c water or tomato juice
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • 4-6 medium cloves of garlic (guess what I picked)
  • opt. fresh cilantro, minced (nah, why bother)

So you heat the olive oil in a 4 qt pot, saute the onion until soft, around 5 minutes.  Add the salt, cumin, chili powder and saute some more until distributed, add in the minced garlic, stir until fragrant, add the tomatoes and water (I just eyeballed the water in the tomato can and swirled it to get all the tomato from the can).  Season with black pepper and cayenne (I think I skipped the cayenne and did a dash of chipotle).  Simmer for about 30 minutes (or until you are filling the enchiladas, whichever is later), stirring occasionally.

Eggplant Enchiladas from The Moosewood Cookbook

  • 1 c almonds, toasted then minced
  • glug olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 6 c diced eggplant (recipe suggests 1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1 t salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smooshed
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 c grated jack cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • mexican red sauce (recipe above)
  • another 4 oz of jack cheese, grated (or the rest of that 8 oz package)

I recommend toasting the almonds in the pan you will use for cooking the filling.  Then set them aside, chopped or not while you deal with the rest of the filling.  I used the food processor them minced, I didn’t figure a large almond chunk would be appreciated in the enchiladas.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

You heat up the olive oil in a nice big pan with a lid.  Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it is soft.  Add the eggplant, salt and pepper (I think I forgot the pepper, it was still good) and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and cover the pan.  Add the garlic and bell pepper, cook for another 5 minutes or so, until everything is soft.  Then you stir in the almonds and the cheese.

IMG_7251Pour some sauce into your 9×13 pyrex pan and spread it thinly on the bottom.  Gently heat your corn tortilla is a dry, non-stick skillet and scoop about 1/4 cup of the filling onto it, roll and place seam side down in the pan.  Repeat 11 more times.  I recommend a clean, folded non-linty towel to protect your hands while rolling the tortillas.  Pour the remaining sauce  over the tortillas and top with the remaining cup of grated cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Looking back, I think you could cut down the amount of cheese in the filling, but it is nice to have some cheese since it helps it stay together during the rolling process.

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