Saturday, November 08, 2008

Braised Cabbage & Lentil Soup

So, last week I checked out a bunch of vegan cookbooks from the library since a bunch of them were just hanging out on the "reshelf" aisle. One of them was "Vegan Italiano," which as you might guess is a collection of vegan Italian recipes, but the cool thing is that they are all authentic Italian recipes - i.e. no tofu, mock meats, soy cheeses, etc. Naturally, this book is right up my alley, and I think I will purchase it soon. The recipes all seem fairly simple too, although I've really only skimmed it so far. Two days ago I made the Braised Sweet & Sour Cabbage with Kidney Beans, and it did not disappoint. I never know what to do with cabbage, but we get it in our produce box fairly often these days, so this was a good solution. I made some "Fancy biscuits" to go with it from "How it All Vegan" (also from the library). The fanciness is attributed to the green onions added. They were more like scones than biscuits, very soft, but I liked them.


I just finished reading this food memoir entitled "The Language of Baklava" by Diana Abu-Jaber, a Jordanian-American, so I decided to try out some of the recipes. The book itself is a great read, full of memorable characters and pepppered with recipes from her chidhood, most Jordanian/Middle Eastern. Anyway, for lunch I followed her lentil soup recipe, with a few tweaks. The flavors were exactly right, but I like a thicker lentil soup, so next time I'll just reduce the amount of water she calls for. It was really easy too. This is a perfect winter soup.

Lentil Soup, adapted from The Language of Baklava

1 C lentils (soak your dried lentils overnight)
1 medium onion
splash of olive oil
3 C water (I used 4, but I think 3 or even less will make a thicker soup)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
juice from 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse lentils. Sautee the onions in olive oil until transluscent in a medium pot. Add everything else and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Wait until soup cools slightly to blend, or use an immersion blender in the pot.


Kelly said...

I love stumbling upon interesting cookbooks at the library. The vegan cookbooks seem to be pretty popular at my library so I often have to request them if I want to read one. I love getting cookbooks from the library because it allows me to try so many more recipes than I ever would were I limited to only those I could afford (and have room) to buy.

Bethany said...

the food looks fantastic. I gotta get out to the library. Can you believe I've never been to the Seattle Library? Very lame of me. I just go to the one in Redmond or Bellevue.

The Language of Baklava sounds really interesting. You can't go wrong with food and stories. My favorite cookbooks have little stories about each recipe - they make me want to try the recipes out.

yasmin said...

The seattle library is a wonder. it's my favorite aspect of seattle so far. i am very into food memoirs these days too, they make such good reading.

Occasional art, comics, food, and other things of less interest to the general public.