I have been at Natural Chef school in Berkeley for about a month now and I feel very lucky to be studying with such knowledgeable teachers and to be learning with like-minded people who are passionate about cooking for health. I am over the nervous gitters of being back in school and am slowly getting used to cooking in a commercial kitchen alongside a dozen classmates.
We made stocks and soups this week at school and since it is getting chillier in most places I thought I would share a soup recipe from school. I have to say here in Northern California (or NorCal as the locals say) it still feels like summer. But Fall is on it’s way and this soup is so colorful and flavorful – perfect for a Fall meal.
The model at school is eating for health by focusing on SOUL foods (seasonal, organic, unrefined, and local) and along with eating well sourced fats, proteins and carbohydrates, booster foods like sea vegetables, nutritional yeast, and spices and herbs are highlighted.
As for cooking in the kitchen, here are two tips I have found very helpful.
1. Read through the recipe in it’s entirety before you begin cooking! Then there are no surprises.
2.Get you mise en place ready. That is, get all your ingredients out on the counter and measured before you begin cooking so you aren’t running around the kitchen that a crazy person..not that that ever happens to me or anything. This step really makes for a much calmer cooking experience!
This curried red lentil soup gets so much flavor from the mineral broth, which is relatively simple to make and very healing. It is full of potassium, magnesium and sodium it adds great flavor and nutrients to the soup, but it’s also nice on it’s own. If you are feeling down and out with a cold, a homemade broth can be the best medicine. Make a big batch and drink it throughout the week like tea. And along with using broth to make soups, it’s also great to replace water for broth when cooking grains. It will add more flavor and nutrients to your dish.
While there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, all you really have to do is throw them into a pot and simmer for a while. You can make the broth one day and the soup the next. It’s worth it!
Here are a few pictures from our last month…
slightly adapted from Bauman College cookbook
- 2 yams or sweet potatoes, quartered, skin on
- 1 onion, large dice
- 2-3 cups greens beans, cut in half
- 3 cups greens, about 5 oz (spinach, kale, chard)
- 1/2 bunch parsely
- 1/2 cup mushrooms (shiitake,crimini)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 2 by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 6 1/3 cups Mineral Broth
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cup red lentils, pick over and rinsed
- 3 medium carrots, quartered legnthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 cups spinach, cleaned and roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas (use fresh if you have them)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- juice of small 1/2 lime, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1. Place the potatoes, onion and green beans in a large stock pot. Add the greens, mushrooms, parsley and kombu and fill pot with water, covering veggies by and inch or two.
2. Simmer for 2-4 hours, depending on how much time you have. Make sure the soup doesn't boil!
3. Remove from heat, strain and cool. Refrigerate, if not using right away for the soup.
1.In a large heavy bottom pot, heat 2 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt and stir until golden, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree ginger, garlic and 1/3 cup Mineral broth.
3.Add puree to onions and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Add curry, tumeric, and cumin and cook over low heat for a minute, stirring. Stir in lentils and the remaining 6 cups of Mineral broth. Cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes. make sure soup doesn't boil!
5. Add carrots and remaining 1 tsp salt and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Add peas and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and season with salt and/or pepper if needed.
8. Just before serving, melt remaining coconut oil in a small skillet. Add cumin and red pepper flakes and heat for a minute, until fragrant. Careful not to burn it! Pour hot oil over soup.
You can make the broth the day before, or even a couple days before.