101 Cookbooks Serving Up My Meals For A Solid Year (at least!)

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If you aren’t checking out what Heidi Swanson is doing at least once a day, you might not even be able to consider yourself a lover of food.  She’s everything that a food blogger aspires to be and she happens to actually make and photograph good food NOT just write about it like some of those other bloggers.  Heidi is the master behind 101 Cookbooks and will make you look good no matter what recipe of hers you choose to try.  I recently received her book Super Natural Cooking for my birthday, and I don’t read it for the recipes, her food photography is beautiful.

Last night, Mr. Wonderful and I feasted on Coconut Red Lentil Soup (it did get down to like 58 degrees last night after all) over long grain brown rice.  #Walterthewonderdog helped in picking up the peas that fell to the floor while I harvested them, and also, by stealing carrot sticks when he could.  Yes, my dog eats veggies.  I’m not gonna lie, this recipe is maybe the most delicious thing I’ve made at home, ever (and I make a lot of tasty stuff at home).  It totally tastes like restaurant soup, but not super buttery/greasy which equals perfection.  If you haven’t tried to cook with lentils before, try this, it’s an easy win-win for your first time in the lentil arena.  If you just read the word lentil 2 or 3 times there and have no idea what I am talking about, here is the WIKI for it.  They aren’t frightening, they happen to be CHEAP, the little guys taste delicious in fact, and make an excellent base for tacos for vegetarians.  Try them out.  I like running my fingers through them while rinsing them under water to clean ’em up a bit.  It’s heaven.

So in true Veggie Bon Vivant style here are my recipe revisions for what I had on hand last night for the Coconut Red Lentil Soup.  Try it!

  • 1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
  • 1 cup 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
  • 7 cups / 1.6 liters water (I used 8 as I like mine a little thinner to start)
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 c fresh shucked peas
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced-greens and whites
  • 1/2 cup / 1.5 oz / 45g golden raisins
  • 1/3 / 80 ml cup tomato paste
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • one small handful cilantro, chopped
  • cooked brown rice or farro, for serving (optional)

Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse – until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.

In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don’t want to burn the curry powder, just toast it. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, peas, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency if you like by adding more water, a bit at a time, if you like. Or simmer longer for a thicker consistency.

Enjoy a ladle or two of this over your fave cooked whole grain with green onions and cilantro sprinkled on top.  This recipe, minus the sprinkles and rice, freezes beautifully.

Serves 6-8.

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