Golden Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 finely chopped roasted red peppers, from a jar or fresh (see notes below)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups golden lentils (see notes below)
4 cups vegetable broth
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
extra vegetable broth, as needed
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil, red peppers, and onions. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until the onion is softened and translucent.
2. Add the lentils and vegetable broth, turn heat up to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
3. Puree about half of the soup with an immersion blender or by putting half of the soup in a regular blender. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Store the soup in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to serve it. It will thicken up a lot in the fridge, so stir in more vegetable broth when you reheat it until it is thin enough for you.
-to roast your own red peppers: cut 2 fresh red peppers into large pieces, discarding the seeds and stem. Place them skin side up on a foil-lined baking sheet and place under the broiler for 5 minutes or so, until the skin is black and blistered. Transfer the pieces to a container with a lid and let them sit, covered for a few minutes. Their steam will make it easier to peel the skin off.
-I found golden lentils in the bulk section at Whole Foods, but if you cannot find them, I would suggest substituting yellow split peas or red lentils.
3 cups cooked lentils (1 cup uncooked, boiled for 20 minutes)
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce (note: read the labels if you're vegetarian, most brands contain anchovies)
1 teaspoon liquid aminos or soy sauce
1 handful fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture holds together and is fairly smooth, with a few chunks.
2. Scoop the mixture into 1 tablespoon balls. You can store these in the fridge if you want to cook them later in the week, or continue to step 3.
3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the "meat"balls on a baking sheet, spray them quickly with cooking spray, and bake them for 25 minutes, until they are browned and crispy on the outside.
-You can usually find cooked chestnuts at specialty foods stores in jars in the fall and winter, but they tend to be super expensive. I buy mine in pouches at Asian supermarkets, and they are just about $1 a pouch, as opposed to $15 or more!
-To make that roasted broccoli (possibly my favorite side dish) I cut a broccoli head into florets, spread them on a silicon mat lined baking sheet, sprayed them with cooking spray, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and baked them in the same oven as the squash (425 degrees) for 15-20 minutes. Then, I squeezed fresh lemon juice over them, which makes them the best.