Friday, March 25, 2011

The Best Red Lentil Soup with Rosemary, Lemon and Feta Cheese

This is a delicious soup recipe chock full of protein and fibre. Lentils really are a super food and are a must have for any vegetarian diet. Also, a great change from the pre-race pasta dinner, lentils are amazing fuel for all you runners and triathletes out there! This recipe is from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook - a great vegetarian cookbook from the owners of Rebar Restaurant, 50 Bastion Square in Victoria BC.

Did you know that Canada is the largest expoerter of lentils in the world? Most crops are grown in Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta.

Ingredients and Preparation: Serves 8

  • 2 cups organic red lentils (PC brand is what I used)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red chile flakes
  • 1 tbsp minced rosemary
  • 2 tbsp minced oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not vegetarian, but then reduce the extra salt in recipe)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tsp minced rosemary cracked pepper to taste
Rinse lentils thoroughly in a colander under cold running water. Set aside to drain. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat and saute onion with 1 tsp salt until translucent. Add garlic, carrot, pepper, chilies, herbs, bay leaves and remaining salt. Stir well and saute until the carrots are just tender. Add rinsed lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered until the lentils are soft and falling apart. If you like, the soup can be pureed or left as is. If you choose to puree, remove the bay leaves first!    Season the soup with lemon zest, lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste (the lemon is KEY so don't skip this step!). Before serving, top with the feta cheese, rosemary and cracked pepper. 

This soup is SO good. Make sure to try it!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Roast Tomato Soup with Thyme

Caught a new (to Canada but originally aired on BBC 2) cooking show the other day on the Food Network by Sophie Dahl - granddaughter to famed Roald Dahl and thought this recipe looked amazing. Tomato soup is one of my favourite comfort foods so had to give this one a try. I also love that you do the cooking in the oven, leaving the stove top free for other culinary pursuits.

Ingredients and Preparation: (serves 4)

  • 2kg/4½lbs large ripe plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 large red onions, peeled, quartered
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml/9fl oz vegetable stock (optional)
  • 100ml/3½fl oz single cream (optional)
  • few drops Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • few drops balsamic vinegar (optional)

Place the tomatoes, garlic, onions and thyme into a large roasting tin and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add sugar (helps to caramelize the veg). Drizzle with the oil, and roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Mash the garlic with the back of a fork, and discard the skin. Remove the thyme twigs! Tip the roasted tomatoes and onions into a food processor along with the mashed garlic, and pulse until smooth.
  If the soup is too thick, pour into a large saucepan and loosen the mixture with either vegetable stock, or single cream. Add a little Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar, to season, if you like.  I had to add stock and some cream to this soup as it was much too thick without...not the best tomato soup recipe (IMO) on the block but fresh and natural tasting.  I do have an ultimate favorite tomato and tarragon soup and will post about that soon!

Aother yummy recipe from this episode was the Twice Baked Potatoes with Goat's Cheese and Chives. I made them the other night and they were delicious.  Recipe here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where have I been? What have I been doing??!

I cannot believe it has been one year since I last posted - wow, that is terrible! I think about blogging all the time so much so that I thought that I actually had been doing more than this...sigh. My excuses are as follows: Motherhood, building a new home, selling a home, a new job, finishing some courses, the winter blues, and piles and piles of laundry and my husband - it's got to be his fault too;) I wish I could say it is because I have been travelling the world but sadly that just isn't the case.

I hope to be a better blogger this year! Along with my meal planning...

Weekly Meal Planning

Meal Planning is always on the to do list and never gets done OR it gets done and the groceries are bought and things just don't go as planned. This week I am really trying to get it together! My goal for Spring and going forward is to meal plan and stick with it!

Do you meal plan? Do you stick to it? What's on your list this week?

Here is what we are eating (or close to it).

Monday - Chicken Breast baked with Artichokes, Leeks & Capers, Twice Baked Potatoes (Sophie Dahl recipe) and green salad with raw veggies.

Tuesday - Dinner at the in-laws tonight - Salmon, rice and salad

Wednesday - This & That Flatbread and Sophie Dahl Roast Tomato Soup

Thursday - Greek Red Lentil Soup and Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Friday - Organic Beef Curry (I'm cheating with sauce from a jar - Pataks!) and Jasmine Rice

Saturday - Big Barn Bowtie Pasta  Pizza Roll ups

Sunday - Black Bean Enchiladas, Green Rice and fresh Guacamole  Grass-fed beef Meatloaf, Leek Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables