Tag Archives: snow

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.

Chestnut Soup

We had some flurries tonight, but none of it stuck- I think it was too warm this past weekend.  But it’s still really fun to walk out of work, and see snow falling down.  Growing up in Illinois, we had lots of snow- so I’m one of those people that looks forward to a snowy evening at home.  Unfortunately, it does not come around very often in DC (other than Snowmageddon 2010).

But if you are someplace where it’s snowy and cold, and you need a good soup to warm you up, this is definitely one you should try.  We had made this soup when we had leftovers after we roasted chestnuts.

Have you cooked with parsnips?  They look a lot like carrots, but have a nutty flavor.  Roasting parsnips enhances their sweet flavor, which can be done prior to adding them to soups.  They are a great root vegetable, especially since they can last up to 3 weeks when kept in cool conditions.

Chestnut Soup
Adapted from: Richard Landau Vedge Restaurant (Philadelphia, PA)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 lb parsnips, peeled & roughly chopped
¼ cup sweet Marsala wine
6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 lb roasted chestnuts, peeled
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  Then add the onion, garlic and parsnips.  Sauté the vegetables until the onion is translucent and parsnips begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Then add the Marsala wine and cook for about 4 minutes, the liquid should reduce.

Then stir in stock, chestnuts, cloves, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Bring everything to a simmer.  Cook for another 15 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender.

Once everything is cooked, pour everything into a blender or food processor.  Blend the mixture to the consistency which you’d like.  Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.