Having vegetarian does not mean you're stuck with salads, three-veg steamed to death and fifty ways to cook potatoes. Here are my favourite fuss-free vegetarian recipes that can be made any day of the week. So enjoy, experiment and eat, eat, eat.
Warning: Be aware of chillies on the menu...
Sunday, December 26, 2010
From left: Sweet potato (kumara), carrot and red lentils
Summer in Melbourne this year has been cold enough for us to keep making soup well into December. Not that I’m complaining. Soup is pretty easy to make and always gets finished with second and third helpings. Especially soups from my favourite ‘soup book’ though it’s really a complete meal book called ‘Very Easy Vegetarian Cookbook’ by Alison and Simon Holst.
So this is what I made when the only things readily available in the kitchen were carrots, sweet potato and red lentils.
Soup before being blended
What you need:
* 1 large onion
* 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
* 1 teaspoon (1-2 cloves) garlic, minced (I keep them whole but peeled)
* ¼- ½ teaspoon minced red chilli (or 2 teaspoons, as we like it hot!)
* 2 teaspoons cumin
* 1 teaspoon turmeric, optional
* 4 cups vegetable stock, or 4 teaspoons stock powder in 4 cups water
* 3/4 to 1 cup lentils
* 2 medium-sized carrots
* 2 stalks celery
* 1 large kumara (orange sweet potato); or 2-3 plain white potatoes
* ¼ - ½ cup cream, optional (and I’ve never added this)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Basil pesto (Have never added this, as we like the flavour of the soup as is)
What I did:
Soup is served!
Halved onions; kept garlic whole; washed and drained lentils; chopped celery stalks; also chopped the peeled carrots and sweet potato into large chunks.
Then heated oil, fried onion and garlic for a few minutes (usually until the onion turns translucent). Then added chilli, turmeric, cumin and fried for few minutes more, until spices were fragrant.
Added lentils and stock, along with chopped vegetables.
Cooked for 15-20 minutes (as recommended), until vegetables were done (when the tip of a knife goes through the chunkiest part of a carrot or sweet potato).Then pureed the whole lot with a slender blender.