Curried Red Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 3 large carrots, diced
* 3 celery stalks, diced
* 1 large onion, diced
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2-inch piece fresh ginger
* 2 qts. vegetable stock
* 2 cups dried RED (they are really orange) lentils
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Juice of 1/2 lime

Spice Mix
* 1 Tbs. mild curry powder
* 1 Tbs. paprika
* 1/2 Tbs. ground turmeric
* 1/2 Tbs. garam masala (it is a mix of spices)
* 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Top with
* Pita chips
* a dollop of plain yogurt

To make Lentil Soup:
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. When very hot, add diced vegetables. Stir 2 to 3 minutes, or until vegetables begin to release juices and aromas. Add garlic and ginger, and stir. Reduce heat to low, and cover pot tightly. Cook vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
2. Mix spices together well. Stir into vegetables, and cook about 5 minutes more, or until fragrant.
3. Add vegetable stock and lentils, and increase heat to medium. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Season to taste, and stir in lime juice until well blended.
4. Top with Pita chips and yogurt

PER Serving: 270 CAL; 18 G PROT; 8 G TOTAL FAT (1 SAT. FAT); 33 G CARB.; 0 MG CHOL; 200 MG SOD.; 12 G FIBER; 6 G SUGAR

Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple-Walnut Chutney

Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple-Walnut Chutney

Adapted from Vegetarian Times October 2003, Serves 6

Created by noted New York chef Terrance Brennan of Picholine and Artisanal fame, this Picholine soup brings together some favorite autumn ingredients and flavors.

Chestnut-Fennel Soup
* 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup (about 2 oz.) thinly sliced onion
* 1 Tbs. kosher salt
* 2 lb. chestnuts, roasted and shells removed
* 3/4 cup (about 5 oz.) diced fennel
* 1/2 cup (about 4 oz.) peeled and thinly sliced celery
* 3 bay leaves
* 6 cups vegetable stock
* 2 grinds black peppercorns
* Salt and additional freshly ground black pepper to taste

Apple-Walnut Chutney
* 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
* 1 Tbs. walnut oil
* 1/4 cup (about 1 1/2 oz.) minced onion
* 2 Tbs. light brown sugar
* 1 Tbs. plus 1 1/2 tsp. honey
* 3 Granny Smith apples, about 1 1/2 lb., peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
* 1/4 cup (about 1 oz.) walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. To make Apple-Walnut Chutney: Place butter and walnut oil in a skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté, uncovered, until lightly browned about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high, and add sugar and honey. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Reduce heat to low, and add apples and sherry vinegar. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil and continue to cook until vinegar has reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add walnuts, and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in salt and pepper, cover to keep warm and set aside.
3. To make Chestnut-Fennel Soup: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a nonreactive 2-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and salt, and cook until onions are transparent. Add chestnuts, fennel, celery and bay leaves. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
4. Add stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Remove cover, and cook 15 minutes more. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and place contents in blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Strain and discard solids. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan on high heat, allowing butter to brown. Remove from heat, and fold browned butter into soup.
6. To serve, warm chutney and mound equal portions in the center of six warm soup plates. Ladle soup over chutney, and serve.

PER Serving: 680 CAL; 11 G PROT; 19 G TOTAL FAT (6 SAT. FAT); 119 G CARB.; 20 MG CHOL; 1670 MG SOD.; 18 G FIBER; 41 G SUGAR

Chayote Soup with Lemongrass and Ginger

Adapted from Bon Appétit | June 1999 | Serves 6

This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.

In Indonesia, the sourness in this soup would typically come from tamarind, which can be hard to find in the United States. A shot of lemon juice works well instead. Serve this hot or cold, and do use the kaffir lime leaves; they add a nice citrusy note.
click photo to enlarge

  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves (We found these at the Lotus market in the Strip District)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 chayote squash, peeled, rinsed, quartered lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced crosswise (we found these at Whole Foods. An odd, green, mango sized squash)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine first 7 ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Strain liquid into bowl; return to same pot. Discard solids in strainer.

Bring liquid in the pot to boil. Add squash; reduce heat and simmer until squash is crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, if desired.) Stir in parsley. Serve soup hot or chilled.

Potato Cheese