Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup

28 09 2011

The main reason I chose to make this soup, minus the fact that it harnesses some great autumn veggies, also minus the fact that I had some tahini kicking around in the fridge… was that in the cookbook picture, it looked so creamy, like a spiced pumpkin puree.

I had just spent the night at a friends grandparents house out in Chemsford, MA and part of dinner was a pumpkin soup that was so yummy and had the same texture that I was dying for; the kind where you can swirl imprints with your spoon that will hold just long enough. Sadly, my soup didn’t turn out that way. Maybe I didn’t use enough squash, or too much broth. Maybe I’ll just keep blaming myself. Stupid stupid stupid. Maybe I’m a victim of metric system conversions. The book was published in Australia.

Either way, it’s a thinner soup than expected, but don’t let that deter you. It has a mellow, sweet flavor with the occasional hint of hotness. If I made it again, I would add some roasted garlic and some herbs, I’m thinking sage.

Butternut Squash & Red Lentil Soup
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide

1 tb. olive oil
1 long red chili, seeded and chopped, plus extra to garnish
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup red lentils
1 tb. tahini
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the chili, onion and garlic over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion has softened.

Reduce the heat to low, add the squash and sweet potato, cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lentils, put the lid back on and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Process the soup in batches in a blender, add the tahini and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan, and gently reheat. Season to tase. Serve garnished with chili.

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Fried Green Tomato Po’Boys & Vegan Caesar Salad

20 09 2011

I always imagined green tomatoes as being tart and well, green tasting. I pictured the disappointment and agony in our faces as we spit them out in unison, cursing the unripe fruit. But lo! Not was the case! Succulent and flavorful, with a tobasco-kick and my bacon portobellos melting over everything, these sandwiches are anything but agony.

Try pairing with this *vegan cesar salad (almost vegan, minus the Parmesan I added..) Vampires beware. This dressing packs a garlic whollop. Love it.

Fried Green Tomato Po’Boys
Adapted from Vegan Planet

3 small green tomatoes, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-in. slices
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (or if Old Bay can’t be found, some Cajun seasoning will work)
3 tbs. olive oil
Tempeh Bacon (my substitute for tempeh was to take 2 portobello mushies, slice, marinate in my tried & true “Bacon” marinade: equal parts liquid smoke, real maple syrup and soy sauce)
2 romaine lettuce leaves
Mayo (or soy mayo)
Hot sauce, to taste
Bread/sub roll of choice

Cesar Salad
Adapted from Vegan Planet

1 loaf crusty bread
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tb. tahini
1 tb. white miso
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Romaine lettuce
Parmesan cheese, shaved (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut the bread into 1-inch. cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake, turning occasionally, until lightly toasted on all sides, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl or food processor, combine the garlic, tahini, miso, lemon juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil until blended. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the romaine leaves into bite-size pieces and place in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until evenly coated. Add the croutons and cheese, if using, toss again and serve.