I know that I've mentioned a few times that fall has arrived, so I thought I'd share with you all some of the fall cooking that's been going on here this week. Last year Jared and I got into a wonderful habit of making a big pot of soup or chili or something of that sort at the beginning of the week, and then eating it for the rest of the week. It worked out really nicely, because I always had a lunch to take to work (which I am sometimes left without after those occasional, ahem, nights when we have popcorn or black beans and chips for dinner). And of course, we could just freeze the rest if we started to get sick of it. We haven't been doing this lately, since I'm not really all that into hot soup in the summer, but since fall is back, so is the soup.
The first installment of this routine is Moroccan Lentil Soup, from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville (who started one of my favorite Vegetarian restaurants in SF- Greens):
1 cup dried lentils
6 cups cold water
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 small carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 celery rib, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small red or yellow bell pepper (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp turmeric
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbl grated fresh ginger
1/2 lb fresh tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup) or 1 8oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice.
2 tbl chopped cilantro (for garnish)
1. Sort and rinse lentils and place them in a soup pot with the cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender (about 20 minutes).
2. While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saute pan and add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt, and a few pinches of cayenne. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft (7-8 minutes) then add the vegetables, another 1/2 tsp salt, and the spices (I didn't have the patience to toast and grind cumin seed- so I just used ground cumin). Cook for 5 minutes, then stir in garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or two. Add the vegetables and tomatoes to the lentils and their broth. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend and deepen (yum!). Season to taste with salt and cayenne. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cilantro. (Makes 8-9 cups)
And of course, what meal would be complete without dessert?? I'm still working my way through the last of the apples (um, yeah, about that...), so I tried out one of the yummy recipes from the Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld: Apple-Walnut Crisp (vegan of course).
1 cup walnut halves
3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbl canola oil
2 tbl water
1 tsp cinnamon for dusting the top
1 tsp maple sugar for dusting the top
3 lbs medium apples (I used McIntosh, obviously, but any kind would work)
1/2 cup dried cherries, halved
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
2 tbl maple syrup
1 tbl maple sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup apple cider or juice
1. Make the topping: Preheat to 350. Toast walnuts in oven for 10 minutes and then rub them against a strainer to loosen the skins. Increase oven temp to 400. Chop walnuts into small pieces. In a medium bowl, toss together oats, flour, sugar, walnuts and salt. Drizzle in oil, stirring lightly. Add water and toss. The topping should be crumbly like wet sand. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl and set aside.
2. Make the filling: Peel and core the apples. Slice them into 1/4 inch slices and cut each slice into thirds. In a large bowl toss all filling ingredients together. Pour into an 8x8 inch baking dish.
3. Sprinkle the topping over the apples evenly, completely covering the apples. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top.
4. Bake for 15 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 350 and bake and additional 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*Note: I used regular sugar instead of maple sugar, because, well, maple sugar is really expensive. The regular sugar worked just fine, but I'm sure the maple would taste better. I also skipped the dried cherries.
And as an added bonus, this makes a super yummy breakfast the next day!
Phew, long post. Let me know if you try out any of these recipes, and have a lovely weekend, whether it's filled with cooking or not.