One of the my f…

One of the my favourite things in the entire world is cooking with friends. Today, Hannah came over, and she brought along two recipes: soup and cookies. Well if that isn’t the best dinner then I don’t know what is. I love soup. The best thing about soup is you can make a lot of it and then eat it throughout the week — ideal for busy college students! The original two recipes Hannah brought were for a root vegetable soup: http://wholelivingdaily.wholeliving.com/2012/01/2012-action-plan-make-this-root-vegetable-soup-for-dinner-tonight.html and chocolate chili cherry cookies: http://mynewroots.blogspot.com/2011/11/black-bean-chocolate-chili-cherry.html. Unfortunately I broke my second magic bullet (I’m going through them like tissues) so the crazy chocolate cookies are for another time. Instead we made simple chocolate chip.

SOUP:

Fixings:

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp curry
  • 1/2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, mushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cups diced mixed root vegetables — we used sweet potato and turnip, pinto beans
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup cooked pinto beans*
  • 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14oz. can light coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in ½ cup water
  • parmesan cheese, for garnish

Special supplies:

  • large pot (or two small ones that you evenly split everything into)
  • a working can opener — three can openers later we found one
  • strainer
  • knives and a cutting board
  • a little dish

Process:

Give the lentils a lil bath while you prep everything else — just put them in a bowl with enough water to cover at least an inch above the little guys. Chop up everything you need now — it’ll make rest of the process easier and faster. Put the tamarind in a little dish with the water — if it looks like poop you’re okay. As Hannah said: “it looks like a turd dissolving in water — therefore I can’t wait to eat it.” In a large pot, heat the oil, spices, and ginger, but not the garlic. Swirl it with a spoon pretty frequently so the spices do not burn. When it starts to smell really good, add the onions and cook them til they mush easily under your spoon. If things get too dry (we’re making soup here–not trail mix) add some liquid from the tomato cans. Let the garlic join the party and cook a couple minutes more. Toss in the veggies and let them mingle with the spices. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the beans, wait for about the length of your favourite song, and then add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Remember those lentils? Drain and rinse them really well, and then add them to the pot with the veggie broth. Bring to a raging boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, or until you just can’t take the hunger any more. Stir in the tamarind — we don’t really know what that did, but the soup turned out great so just don’t question it. If you don’t feel like getting tamarind, you can probably skip it. Garnish with some parmesan cheese and whatever salt/pepper combo you like. Serve it hot with some bread or homemade tortilla chips. Smile!

COOKIES:

Fixings:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • a hefty handful of chocolate chips

Special supplies:

  • strong arms!
  • parchment paper
  • a spatula
  • a big bowl

Process:

Set the oven to 350˚. Mix everything in a bowl in the following order: butter, sugar, and brown sugar; egg and vanilla; baking soda/powder, salt, and flour; then finally chocolate chips. Test the batter. How is it?! Make adjustments if you want — more sugar? More chocolate chips? I usually pick the latter. Drop some globs of the dough onto a pan lined with parchment paper. Stick it in the oven an d back for about 10 minutes. Pour a glass of milk and get your belly ready for a nice treat!

Food is love.

** PINTO BEAN STORY TIME: this was my first time making beans that I bought dried. It was so easy! Just soak them in water over night, then rise and put in a pot with two parts water, one part beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Test 3 beans, and if they’re all to you’re liking, then you’re good to go!