Archive | June, 2020

Moroccan Carrot, Lentil and Prune Soup

14 Jun

lentil soup with prunes

This is a soup with an intriguing flavor that crosses Moroccan influences with the flavors of tzimmis, a slow-cooked European Jewish melange of sweet potatoes, carrots and prunes. If you like tzimmis you’ll love it! The recipe comes from the Sunsweet Prunes people.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup dried lentils
½ cup pitted prunes, chopped
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro
Pinch salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, overed, for 5 to 7 minutes until onions are softened.

Increase heat to medium. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, garlic and one-third cup water. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes; add a little water if the vegetables start to stick.

Add lentils and prunes and mix well. Stir in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Stir in stock and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.

Stir in lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper.

Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve immediately.

(Note: If you prefer a smoother texture, puree the soup with an immersion blender.)

Mushroom-Barley Soup

2 Jun

This is a quintesential comfort food, so it’s been a great panedemic recipe. Leftovers will keep for a week or more in the fridge.

The last time I made it I realized as I was getting started that I had no fresh mushrooms! That didn’t matter much — what’s really essential is the dried mushrooms. We once got a huge jar of them at Costco, and it lasted us about 10 years. Sadly, Costco no longer carries the product. You can find dried mushrooms in bulk food stores and some supermarkets. Or you can buy them online. Don’t freak out at the sky-high per-pound price; you need very little and they weigh next to nothing, so an ounce or two will last you a long time (and they don’t spoil).

If you have porcini mushroom caps, use 3 to 5 of them. If your dried mushrooms are in bits and flakes, measure out about 3 tablespoons of pieces.

Ingredients:

3 to 5 dried porcini mushrooms or 3 tbs. dried mushroom pieces
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
4 – 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
6 cups stock (vegetable, beef, chicken)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Great Northern or cannelini beans
1 bay leaf
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley or 1 Tbs. dried parsley
½ cup pearled barley
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water to cover for a half hour.

Heat the oil in a large pot and sautee the chopped onions for about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and continue cooking until the vegetables are soft, another 3-5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook until soft.

Add the stock and the canned tomatoes and stir.

Drain the dried mushrooms, slice them thin and add to the pot. (You can use the liquid that you drain off, but put it through a strainer first.)

Add the canned beans, bayleaf and parsley.

Bring the soup to the boil, then add the barley. Return to the boil, Reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes.

The soup is better if you make it at least several hours before you want to serve it and reheat.

Serves 8