Wednesday Food: Sometimes It's Easy Being Vegan

Not all the time, but sometimes you come across a recipe that just couldn't be simpler - I had to share.  I am not a vegan (nor could I ever be), but I have a friend who is, and we make meals together on Mondays.  You may remember Amy from the Basil Harvest Dinner and also Apple Picking.  But this week I had another hurdle to jump.  Not only did dinner have to be vegan, but also really quick!  I had 45 minutes to work with and needed to make all those minutes count.  I walked in the door, threw my coat and bag wherever and got right  into chopping veggies!

I planned for Lentil and Potato Soup, which is the easiest recipes I've come across.  You could literally throw everything in the pot, cook and serve.  But I'll add a little extra instruction along the way.  This recipe also has amazing flavor, is perfect for colder weather and doesn't matter if your vegan or not.  It's just darn good!

Lentil and Potato Stew
1 onion, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 potatoes (I used Yukon Gold), chopped and keep the skins on
6c. water
1 1/2c. dry lentils
1/4c. soy sauce
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

MMmmm veggies!
1) Put a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot.  Heat on low to medium.  Add your sliced onions and begin to saute.  As your chopping and preparing your veggies, continue to add them to the pot.  You will very quickly notice an amazing aroma coming from your veggies.  Remember, the smaller you cut your veggies the quicker they will cook!

2) Once you've added the potatoes, just let the mixture of veggies saute for a couple of minutes.  Then add the water, lentils, soy sauce, and bay leaf.  Stir the soup, let it come to a boil and turn down to simmer.

3) Test to make sure your veggies are cooked and soft.  Serve with a hearty slice of bread.  Eric picked up a MultiGrain Boule from Standard Baking Company here in Portland, ME.

The Yukon Gold potatoes cook down and thicken this soup almost to a stew.  Yummy, hearty and healthy!  As the holiday season approaches and people start sharing their yummy truffles, cookies and fudge, we must remember to eat our veggies too, and keep healthy in colder weather!  I sound like a mom, huh?

 Remember, when the kitchen gets too hot, get back in there and keep cooking!


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