Monday, October 27, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 27: Tomatillo Soup and Lentils

Ah! It saddens me to realize that we are in the home stretch of MoFo. I feel like I've gotten very little done! But then again, I shudder to think how little real food I might have eaten this month without MoFo as a guiding force.

Tonight's dinner was a good one. No, it was great. I spent all morning studying (really! over 3 hours straight! without even like checking my email or anything) and basically got everything I needed to do for the day wrapped up by 3 or 4 p.m. So then I thought I'd cook something... something delicious... something lazy... something deliciously lazy.

As I may have mentioned, I made a LOT of broth the other day. Here are pictures of the two stock pots I used:

Mmmm broth!

Even more broth!

So it seemed only natural to make soup. I cast about the kitchen, looking for a soupable vegetable that needed using, and spied a bunch of tomatillos from last week's CSA box. Oh, man. Do I ever love tomatillos! My favorite thing to do with them is just slice them up and eat them raw and plain... or with a tiny bit of salt. There's nothing in the world that tastes quite like a raw fresh tomatillo. Mmm.

But, hey, soup sounded good too! So I knocked together a tomatillo soup. Then I decided it needed something to go with it and cooked some lentils in broth. And then at the very last minute, I crumbled some of the mature white cheddar Cheezly on top. My husband liked the Cheezly in the soup so much that when he went for a second bowl, he got the Cheezly out and put that on instead of getting out his dairy cheese. If that's not success, I don't know what is. Bless you, Cheezly!

Anyway, I took some lovely soup pictures but am too lazy to get the card reader out tonight. Tomorrow, maybe. In the meantime, please enjoy the soup recipe. Mmm. Recipe.

Tomatillo Soup with Lentils
serves 2-4 people (depending on just how hungry you are)

1 1/3c brown lentils, rinsed
3c vegetable broth

1/2c vegetable broth
5 shallots, sliced as thin as you can
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large hot pepper (such as jalapeno), de-seeded and chopped
10 medium-small tomatillos (maybe a pound?), chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
5c vegetable broth (in addition to earlier broth)
salt and pepper to taste

1/8th wheel of Cheezly mature white cheddar

1. Start cooking the lentils in the 3c of broth. I like to cook my lentils in my rice cooker, but lots of people think this is nuts. Cook them however you see fit... start them now, though, because the rest of this is going to come together pretty quickly.
2. Heat 1/3c broth in a non-stick pan, then add the shallots and garlic. Sautee, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until shallots are soft.
3. Transfer the shallots/garlic to a sauce pan, deglazing the pan with a little extra broth.
4. Add the rest of the vegetables (hot pepper, tomatillos, tomatoes) to the sauce pan, along with the 5c vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes or until tomatillos are very soft.
5. Use a food processor (or immersion blender if you have one, you lucky duck, you... mine broke a while back) to puree the soup. Return soup to sauce pan, taste and add salt/pepper as needed, and then keep on the stove on low until the lentils are done.
6. When the lentils are done, scoop about a cup and a half of lentils into each bowl. Press it down so that it sort of forms a crust on the bottom of the bowl. Pour soup over lentils until bowl is comfortably full.
7. Finally, crumble a bit of Cheezly over each serving. Nom nom nom.

Very very delicious soup. I ate a bowl of it and the dude had two, and it's all gone now. Good stuff.

Tomorrow: a midterm is going to kick my butt in the morning. Afterwards, swiss chard? Wait and see!

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