Hello Loose shoppers,
How about getting into the good old lentils, in particular brown lentils? They're warming, grounding and delicious. You can find them at Loose and they cost next to nothing.
I grew up with a step-father who was German and took cooking very seriously. He and my Slovak mother became vegetarian when I was only a year old, and endeavoured to find vegetarian alternatives to dishes they loved. I have based this recipe on a vegan version of a German lentil soup he used to make.
The great thing about lentils is that they don't have to be soaked overnight. However, it benefits the digestion if you do soak them overnight, and even better if you add a piece of kombu seaweed whilst cooking. Always remember to scoop off the white foam that arises when you bring pulses to a boil. I find that is good practice but apparently an old wive's tale that it actually reduces excess wind. Well, I think it's worth trying and besides the lid stays on the pot better when the foam is gone.
You could make the soup more stew-like, as in the first photo, or more like this one, more soup-like.
Here is my Lentil Soup recipe that I hope you'll love.
Enjoy this grounding, nourishing, protein-rich warming soup.
Makes enough for at least 6 hungry bellies.
1 cup brown lentils soaked overnight in water
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, or 1 leek
3 stalks celery
4 small potatoes
1/4 pumpkin, or 2 cups chopped
Few leaves of kale or silverbeet
Few green beans
Optional: 2 cups green cabbage, chopped or sliced
2 chopped large ripe tomatoes
2-3 bay leaves
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1.5L water, or adjust to your liking
Dash apple cider vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper
freshly chopped parsley
Bread, must have bread of some sort
My German stepfather used to serve this with vegan Wiener sausages which is actually really nice!
Chop the harder and longer cooking vegetables (potato, carrot) into a smaller size than the quicker softer ones (pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage).
Cut the onion into half moon crescents and gently sauté in olive oil.
Add garlic or leek.
Then add celery, bay leaf and carrots, after a minute or two add the potatoes and tomatoes.
Sauté a few minutes then just barley cover with water and chuck in your bay leaves.
Pop the lid on and simmer gently for about 25 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage salt, pepper and cook further 15-20 minutes.
When all the vegetables are happily soft turn off the heat and add a touch of apple cider vinegar.
Serve after letting the soup sit for about half an hour or so, with fresh herbs and crusty bread of whatever description that suits your dietary requirements, your body’s needs, your tastebuds.
Tip: remember that soups usually taste much better the following day.
Do let us know on the Loose Facebook page if you've made it and how you liked it, or what personal improvements you gave it.
Have a fresh colourful autumn week!
Maria-Carin Gala from Gala’s Organic Kitchen, on behalf of Loose the plastic-free shop in Stroud.
Cover photo credit: eat-this.org.