Two soups at a time

Last weekend I made two soups that fed us for several days. It was intentional practice living with less—less food waste (how many times have I bought fresh ingredients and then, because of poor planning, tossed them out uneaten?) and less food packaging.

The recipes came to me via a reader of this blog named Angie, and I recommend them both!

Curried Red Lentil Soup from Zestycook.comCurried Red Lentil with Chickpeas and Quinoa
Serves 4-6 

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup (one small) onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or 1 tablespoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon turmeric)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce (such as sambal oelek, or to taste) OPTIONAL
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked) I COOKED ONE CUP DRY QUINOA BECAUSE COOKING LESS DIDN’T SEEM WORTH THE EFFORT, and then I paired the leftover cup of cooked quinoa with a microwave Indian meal (ahem)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro and Greek style yogurt (or strained yogurt or sour cream) OPTIONAL (I love fresh cilantro, and need to find a way to use up an entire bunch before it gets slimy)
  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes and chili sauce.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the chickpeas and quinoa and warm them up.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a garnish of cilantro and a dollop of Greek style yogurt.
Serves 6-8
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2 -inch-diced  I SKIPPED THIS
  • 1 1/2 cups (two medium sized) chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery IF YOU ALSO MAKE THE SOUP ABOVE, YOU WILL USE ALMOST AN ENTIRE HEAD OF CELERY
  • 2 1/2 cups diced peeled butternut squash BAKE THE REMAINING SQUASH FOR ANOTHER MEAL
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (4 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves I SKIPPED THE FRESH THYME BECAUSE OF GUARANTEED WASTE AND THEN REALIZED I DIDN’T HAVE ANY DRIED—I THOUGHT THE PESTO PROVIDED SUFFICIENT FLAVOR
  • 26 ounces canned or boxed diced tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock I BOUGHT TWO CARTONS OF LOW-SODIUM STOCK (=8 c. of stock) AND HAD THE RIGHT AMOUNT FOR THIS SOUP AND THE ONE ABOVE (yes, I aspire to make my own stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup good dry white wine I DIDN’T USE—TOO MUCH EFFORT
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto I FROZE THE LEFTOVER PESTO IN TWO SMALL CONTAINERS FOR FUTURE SOUP MAKING
  • Freshly grated good-quality Parmesan cheese YES! ADDS SALTINESS AND RICH FLAVOR
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and squash and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be thick.
  4. Before serving add the spinach and heat just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

4 thoughts on “Two soups at a time

  1. I’m so glad you were inspired by my suggestion. I haven’t made either of these soups yet, but I’m inspired to get my soup pot out this coming weekend. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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