International Meatless Day!
...was last Tuesday. Sorry everyone, with travel and all, I didn't get a chance to post my recipe salute to the day until now.
In fact, I only learned of the existence of this pre-Thanksgiving holiday-from-meat until I heard mention of it on NPR on my drive home from the gym last Tuesday a.m.. We left town that same afternoon to visit my in-laws in Arkansas, but my packing was light, and with Nick at Mother's Day Out for a few hours, I had time to whip up a batch of vegetarian soup for the road.
Despite a heaping bowl of cereal, yogurt, and a piece of toast, I was still feeling famished by 10 a.m., so the soup could not be an esoteric, affair. Moreover, I aimed to convince my hooray-for-meat husband to sip a cup en route. So I reached for a bag of neglected yellow lentils and set to stirring up a pot of hot, hearty sustenance.
You may have expected a carrot, squash or pumpkin soup at first glance of the photo; nope, lentils. Yellow lentils, like red and orange lentils, cook in a flash.
I left the chopping to the food processor, and the soup came together in no time. I poured about a third of it into a thermos for the trip, and cooled and froze the remainder for our return-home supper. It was perfectly sip-able on the road, and coupled with some seeds on top for crunch and protein, my rapacious appetite was soon gone.
Like most good soups, this one was even better days later, just right after a long journey home (one largely spent chewing five packs of gum, reading back issues of the New Yorker, and singing the first refrain of Jingle Bells ad nauseum avec Nick--the three activities went together surprisingly well). And though International Meatless Day is five days past, you may find this is just the thing for your post-Thanksgiving Monday. I'll be heating up the final bowl for lunch shortly.
Yellow Lentil Soup with Coriander, Lime and Pepitas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
2 stalks celery, peeled, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups yellow lentils (or yellow split peas)
8 cups water
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or more to taste)
Optional: 1/4 roasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Heat oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and coriander. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add lentils, water, salt abd lime zest; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot; simmer soup until vegetables are tender and peas are falling apart, stirring often, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Puree 5 cups soup (mostly solids) in batches in blender. Return to pot. Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve with seeds, if desired. Makes 6 servings.