Last night, as a side dish to our roast, I made butternut squash. I roasted it in the oven with sage, oil, salt, pepper, and then finished it with cheese. For some reason, I wasn’t feeling it last night. Something didn’t quite taste right. Maybe I didn’t salt enough or maybe I was just feeling stressed about the evening and decided to take it out on the poor, unsuspecting squash. Disappointed, I just put it aside, and decided to make soup out of it later.
After the dishes were done and kitchen cleaned, I sauteed onion and garlic, and then added the squash cubes and simmered everything in stock for an hour or so, smashing the orange flesh against the sides of the pot until they were broken up. I seasoned it to taste, simmered it a bit longer, then put it in the fridge to be dealt with today. Today, when I thought about what I was going to do with it, I decided that I wanted to add some protein and substance to it instead of pureeing it and calling it good. I plan to take it for lunch this week to work and I need something more substantial to get me through the day. I hunted through my cabinet, peeked through various mason jars I have on my counter filled with broken pieces of pasta, lentils of all colors, beans, and barley–eventually, I stumbled upon a jar of assorted legumes. It has two types of lentils in it, white beans, garbanzo beans, split peas–so many different types of dried legume. Definitely too many to count. So I settled on 10(?).
The first thing I did with these legumes was soak them in water for awhile. Then I added them to my mashed butternut squash mixture with more stock. Now it’s simmering on my stove until the beans are tender.
It’s not much to look at, but it’s the perfect soup to take to work this week!
Over the past 5 weeks, our household has experienced H1N1, sinus infections, bronchitis, and strep throat. Fevers, chills, cough syrup, too many antibiotics. Here we are, beginning February–and Henry woke up with a fever. My cough is returning. I am bone deep tired of being sick. With that said, it’s been a great winter. Wonderful holiday trips to Alderdale and Bellingham. Work at my high school has been going exceptionally well, considering the change in our grading system. Things are plugging along. I am feeling rather optimistic…so much so that I just got done painting my fingernails. And now I am actually doing a blog post. Henry is on hour four or five of homework and I am considering starting dinner.
I chose this recipe based solely on the pictures. Drool. I mostly followed it. I can’t wait to eat it!
It’s simple. I tweaked it a bit–I thought the addition of spinach at the end would lighten it up a bit and make it more healthy. Now I only wish I had bought some french bread to go with it!
Henry got up this morning at 6:30.
We went round and round before bed last night–one of those arguments that never go away, but just need to be accepted. In those moments, when our backs are against the wall, we are so incredibly similar. Stressed. Tired. Defensive. But sleep always smooths over the rough edges of the night and circumstances really do seem a bit brighter in the morning.
He got up at 6:30 and didn’t say anything. I was awake, too. I stayed in bed and tried to listen to what he was doing. I heard the rustle of coffee filters. The water from the tap ran. A pan scraped against the stove’s heating element. I got up and stood in the kitchen, watching him with bleary, puffy eyes. He was at the stove, making me eggs in a basket. He said: I was going to bring it to you in bed, but you got up. He handed me a cup of coffee and we started our day better than we ended it.
The kids got back today and it’s our week with them. We cleaned and shopped today and by the time lunch rolled around, we were starving. This is what I rustled up.
- one onion, diced
- two cloves of garlic, minced
- a handful of baby carrots, chopped
- one stalk of celery, diced
- 4 cups of chicken stock or veggie stock
- 1/2-2/3 of a cup of red lentils…estimation…I just poured “some” in
- 2 cups of rotini whole wheat pasta…more estimation
- tsp of fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper
- bay leaf
- 8 ounces no salt added tomato sauce
Saute veggies until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Add rosemary. Add lentils, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the lentils soften and thicken the soup. Add the pasta. I am not certain how much I added. The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid, so if you want it soupier, add less. Boil until the pasta is al dente. Top with Parmesan cheese.
Delicious, quick, healthy, and a beautiful color. Perfect for a chilly September day.
Day two of following a meal plan: success. I made this delicious lentil soup, and Henry grilled some corn on the cob. Perfect.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 large or two small red potatoes, diced
- five cups stock
- large handful of cherry tomatoes or 1 medium tomato, chopped
- one onion, diced
- several cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- salt and pepper
Add the lentils, stock, potatoes, and cherry tomatoes to a pot and simmer until the lentils are tender. Maybe 40 minutes and everything was soft and creamy.
In the meantime, saute onion, garlic, and spices until brown. Don’t be afraid to get color on the onion. It just adds so much to the final soup.
When the lentils are soft, add the onion mixture, add more water if you need to, and simmer to your heart’s content. Some might want to puree this, but I just left it chunky. We finished it off with sriracha, but cilantro and lime would have been awesome, too.
And to finish the night: We are making watermelon wine! Wish us luck…
Adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking: Soups and Sandwiches
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 med. garlic cloves
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of half a large lime
- huge squirt of Sriracha
- green onions
Method: Poach chicken in broth, water, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha, and lime juice. Remove chicken and shred. Add chicken back to broth and simmer for a couple minutes. Wilt in a few handfuls of spinach. Ladle into bowls and top with scallions and cilantro.
Today, after drinking a few hot toddies to combat this cold, I made a Mexican chicken soup and a potato, spinach, and sausage casserole. I’m usually not a casserole person, and I had intended to make biscuits and gravy, but I’m still pretty sick and a warm, cheesy casserole sounds really appetizing right now.
This soup is pretty similar to a soup recipe I posted a few months ago. I don’t think the other soup had the roasted chicken. I think it was a vegan or vegetarian version of this recipe, and perhaps it had rice. I tend to rotate the same recipes with minor changes. The nice thing about soup is that you can substitute so many ingredients. I have some carrots, spinach, and a sweet potato that would be just lovely in this recipe as well.
Mexican Chicken Soup:
- juice of 2 limes
- Mexican oregano
- salt and pepper
- new mexico chili powder
- three chicken breast halves (skin on and bone in)
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- half of a small can of enchilada sauce
- 1 can roasted tomatoes, juices included
- some frozen corn
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
Marinate the chicken in lime juice and spices. Roast in oven until done. Shred. Set aside. Saute onions, garlic, celery, zucchini, and bell pepper until soft. Add chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, stock. Corn. Season to taste. Simmer until done.