Curried Split Pea Soup

7:20 PM Edit This 3 Comments »
Tonight I had my darling Amanda over for dinner, and she brought her sister who just got home from college (and is already bored of the suburbs.) Since the weather has been gross, I decided it was high time to make a curried split pea soup that I had dreamed up back when the weather was warm. For some reason we had a faux-été in March and now we're getting drearsville in May. Anyway, I love using Golden Curry to make a nice Japanese stir-fry that my mom taught me, and the last time I used it I thought it would make an impeccable addition to split pea soup. As with any out-of-the-blue recipe, I was nervous that it was going to be absolutely terrible. Luckily for Amanda and Brittany, the soup actually turned out quite nicely. It is a hearty soup perfect for cold weather, with the nice kick of curry to make it interesting. Here we go!


As you can see, I forgot to photograph it until after I had started devouring it. And obviously split pea soup isn't meant to look like much. But what is a blog post without an illustration?

Recipe:

2 cups dried split green peas
8 cups water
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 carrots
4 stalks celery
4 small potatoes
1 box Golden Curry
Sea salt to taste, but at least a few teaspoons

Instructions:

Have your friends chop the onions and garlic for you, then sauté them in the oil. When the onions look translucent, add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce head and simmer for 45 minutes. Leave the room and watch a chick flick to pass the time, since the weather sucks and you just want to cry to a Nicholas Sparks plot line.

After 45 minutes, put in the celery, carrots, and potatoes that your friends also chopped for you. After all, you're providing the food, they should at least do the chopping. Don't forget the curry! Throw in a whole box of medium-hot to hot Golden Curry mix and salt. Give it a good stir, cover the pot, and let simmer for another hour while you finish your movie.

After an hour, your soup is ready to eat and piping hot! Serve it with crusty bread and enjoy. This recipe makes a lot of soup, so you'll have plenty to send off with your dinner guests and to freeze for later when you're too lazy or too sick to make a meal. If you use the medium-hot curry mix, the soup will be nicely spiced, but not spicy. If you like things with more kick, definitely go for the hot box.

I finished off with these vegan pear cakes, because I'm obsessed with them. I put them in a muffin tin so that they're in nice little individual servings. Not only do they pass for dessert, but you can keep them in the fridge and serve them cold for breakfast. Careful, they disappear quickly!


Vegetarian Gourmet: Marinated Mushrooms

12:56 PM Posted In , , Edit This 1 Comment »
One of my sister-in-law's friends has been on me to post some recipes and pictures of meals I make that are vegan/vegetarian. I haven't blogged in about two years because my life has been absolutely insane, but now things are calming down and I have a little more discretionary time to sit on the internet. (Read: I need something to do while I'm avoiding studying for the BCBA exam.) So here's blog post #1 of my post-grad school life: MUSHROOMS! Also known as my brother's personal hell.

I love marinated mushrooms from the antipasto bar at Whole Foods. Every week I do the majority of my grocery shopping at Russo's because the majority of what I eat is produce, but then I always need a few staples from the grocery store too. My biggest downfall and the arch-nemesis to grocery thrift? Olives and antipasto. I have a problem. So, today I decided I would try my hand at my own marinated mushrooms for about a third of the cost. The result? Incredible. I ate a few that wouldn't fit in the jars and I actually said "well, excuse me!" out loud. Yes, I know that's embarrassing.


Recipe:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
a few dashes of balsamic vinegar
1 10-oz. package of regular, boring, run-of-the-mill white mushrooms. Cut the big ones in half or thirds.
5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon fresh minced oregano
ditto with the basil
1 shallot, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
some pepperoncinis (optional)

Instructions:


Throw everything except for the mushrooms in a pot and bring it to a boil. Since it's about half oil, it more looks like you're frying than you're boiling. Anyway, cool, bubbles. Reduce heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Throw those mushrooms in, stir, cover the pot, cook for a minute, remove from heat and let cool uncovered. Once it's all cooled, give it another couple of good stirs and then pack it into some jars and throw it into the fridge.

Apparently these can be kept for 3 or 4 weeks in the fridge, but mine would never last that long. I like to throw them on salads or in vegetable wraps for some zesty flavor, and then you really don't need any salad dressing. They would be really nice served warm on a cold day over a baked potato, too...