Sunday, January 26, 2014

Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup

This is seriously one of the best things I've ever made.  It's one of those "wow this is so good I can't believe I made this" moments.  It's crazy flavorful and it's easy to make.  Proof that amazingly delicious good food doesn't have to be complicated with fancy schmancy ingredients and techniques.  One of my secrets to this is a good vegetable broth.  Some have zero flavor.  I happen to love Edward and Son's Not-Chick'n bullion cubes that I get at Whole Foods.  I use one cube dissolved in three cups of water for this recipe (package says one cube in two cups water but I reduce the sodium).

Serves 3-4


2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
5-6 baby carrots diced (that's what I always have on hand or use 1 carrot)
3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 Tbsp tomato paste 
3/4 cups red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth (see note)
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)


Add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and carrots with a dash of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and cook 2 minutes.  

Stir in the tomato paste and the lentils, then add the broth and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  

Season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Note: recommend using a quality, flavorful broth such as Edward and Son's Not-Chick'n bullion cubes. Dissolve one cube in three cups hot water for this recipe.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Grilled Avocado Sandwich

Tomato soup has a new BFF and doesn't have cheese.  Glorious avocado steals the show in the tasty grilled sandwich.  Yea, yea grilled cheese sandwiches are awesome but this isn't trying to replace it.  It is its own kind of awesome and it also pairs exceptionally well with tomato soup.  Of course you could add other things to the sandwich but I like to keep it simple, just a little S+P, maybe a dash of garlic powder, and all that rich, buttery avocado. Pair with some of this yummy tomato soup and enjoy!

Makes one sandwich


2 slices of bread
3-4 Tbsp mashed avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of garlic powder (optional)
Earth Balance vegan butter spread, room temp


Heat skillet over medium heat (I use a cast iron skillet). Mix your mashed avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder if using.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, on the other side spread on your avocado.  Place the other slice on top and spread with butter.  Cook in skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.