Whatcha Got Cookin'?

Once upon a time when I was a very punk rock teenager, I decided to become a vegetarian purely for reasons of ethics. I thought eating meat, supporting the meat industry and destroying the earth to do the latter two was a terrible thing. It had nothing to do with diet or nutrition, which can be seen in my preference for tofu in ramen noodles and potatoes cooked every which way when I moved out on my own.
This is me dressed as Jem for Halloween and has nothing to do with this post but it made me laugh.
Brooding pre-punk Stefanie.
I stopped being a vegetarian in my very early twenties, but I still agree with the teenager in me about the ethics of eating meat and I try to make an attempt to buy "better" meats and not turn a blind eye to the industry. I love a lot of meat dishes and I don't see myself ever stopping partaking again, but that doesn't mean I don't still eat and make a lot of meat-free dishes. It doesn't hurt that 1/3 of team best friend, my toddler and my mom are all vegetarians too.

As luck would have it Real Simple sends out a lot of vegetarian dishes in their daily recipe emails (which I love and usually make at least one recipe a week from). I used to subscribe to Real Simple and save them up for plane rides or days at the beach, but now that those days are instead filled with Thomas on the iPad and sandcastles, I gave it up.

But enough about the days of leisure past, here is a really good soup recipe that has made for some great leftovers too!

Barley and Lentil Soup, taken from Real Simple
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 scallions, chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup dried red lentils (I used regular because I couldn't find red at the store and was over looking)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used greek because I love the tang and creaminess of it)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and curry powder. Cook, stirring, until the tomato paste darkens, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut milk, lentils, barley, 4 cups water, and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and barley are tender, 35 to 45 minutes (adding more water if needed to loosen).
  3. Serve topped with the scallion greens and yogurt.


Matty said…
Wait... that was yogurt??? I thought it was sour cream! Deceit!

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