Food, Wine, Rock & Roll

Part food blog, part jam session

Curried Lentil Soup

Posted by Becca On March - 24 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

My husband’s great-grandmother was a vegetarian and raised him on lentils; he LOVES them.  Until finding this recipe, I had never cooked lentils or made a true “from scratch” home-made soup.  However, what attracted me to this recipe was neither the draw of making my own soup or indulging his love of lentils.  It was the curry; it was an opportunity to indulge MY love of Indian food, especially since I no longer live in a place where good Indian food is available.  The other things were just a bonus.

This is yet another super easy, quick (prep-work), and SUPER inexpensive recipe.  I realize this is becoming a pattern in these posts but I have no doubts that I’m not the only one who is becoming more and more conscientious about my budget.  It is also vegetarian, which makes it very healthy.  It also makes great leftovers.  Easy, cheap, quick, satisfying, and healthy – what more can you ask for?

Ingredients

  • 3 tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped (I start with julienned carrots to save time)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
  • 2 tbs. (or more) curry powder
  • 1 c. green lentils
  • 4 1/4 c. (or more) water, divided
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter

Preparation

Heat 1 tbs. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and carrots.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Add half of the chopped garlic.  Stir until the vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer.

Add 2 tbsp. of curry powder.  Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the lentils and 4 cups of water.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of water, remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and remaining garlic in a food processor.

Add the chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired.

Add water by 1/4 cupful to thin to desired consistency.

Serve with warm naan (Indian flatbread) and lemon wedges.

Crockpot Irish Stew

Posted by Becca On March - 16 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

This stew is incredibly easy, quite inexpensive, and makes a hearty, filling, and incredibly satisfying meal.  It also makes great left-overs; the flavors will continue to mingle and grow richer over time.

This is a perfect dish when you are short on time and/or cash.  I generally like to make it over a weekend or early in the week so that we have quick, filling left-overs to eat when things get too hectic during the week.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 1 tbs. crushed rosemary
  • 1 tbs. thyme
  • 1 tbs. marjoram
  • 1/2 tbs. oregano
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 2 lbs. boneless lamb, cubed (you can also use beef, if preferred.  If so, use a roast cut)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 c. quick-cooking tapioca (optional for thickened gravy)

Preparation

Place first 8 ingredients in crock pot.  Pour chicken broth over all.  Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Sprinkle lamb cubes with salt and pepper.  Place in large skillet and cook until just beginning to brown on all sides.

Place browned lamb and mushrooms in crock pot.

Stir in tapioca.

Cook on low for an additional 3-4 hours until vegetables are tender and lamb is cooked through.

Serve with warm bread.