For a good solid week or two, Vancouver was trapped in the arms of summer. Smiles were given out to random strangers, windows and doors were left wide open, and the world just seemed that much better. But over the last day of the long weekend, the switch was flipped. Grey clouds? Mais oui! Battering rain? Of course! But this is Vancouver. We know grey and rain and cool temperatures. So we adjust by kicking off our sandals and pulling out our rain boots. Thick, wooly cardigans find their way into easy reach. And we make soup.
This soup was just the ticket for a rainy day. Not only is it full of belly warming spices that nod to sunnier climes, but you probably already have all the ingredients close at hand. No need to head to the grocery store to pick up a few things. A mason jar filled with red lentils in your pantry. A can of diced tomatoes (even better if they are fire-roasted). Vegetable stock in the fridge, along with a gorgeous head of fresh green parsley (or cilantro if you want to get the flavours authentic).
The rain will stick around for another day or two and then you can feel good about being outside again. But for now, relax and put on your puffy slippers and go with it. And we can all hope that summer with it’s hot sun and smiles will grace the Pacific Northwest soon. Right? Right??
elsewhere: I know you know that I love cauliflower. So I’m sharing some cauliflower love over at Poppytalk. It’s roasted, it’s got a bit of spice and it’s covered with parmesan cheese. Did I mention that it’s addicting? Go now and get the recipe!
red lentil mexican soup with lime
(adapted from Kayln’s Kitchen)
1 c red lentils, rinsed
1 T oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 sweet red pepper, diced
2 t chili powder
1/4 t chipotle powder
salt & pepper
1 14oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 c vegetable stock (homemade if you have it)
a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce
juice of 1-2 limes
1 c chopped parsley or cilantro
avocado, diced (optional)
Add rinsed lentils to a small pot and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat leaving cover on pot. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat and saute onions, garlic, celery, and red pepper. Let things soften and add in the spices, and tomatoes. Dump in the whole pot of lentils along with the vegetable stock. Stir everything well, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and the parsley or cilantro. Pour into bowls and garnish with diced avocado, if using. Makes 4-6 servings.