Monday, August 06, 2007
Monthly Mingle - Earth Food
Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey? asked "What action are you taking that helps the earth? It does not have to be anything spectacular or a list of 100 things - just the one small action that you consciously do that reduces the impact."
What has a cat got to do with a monthly mingle you might ask? Well read on and you'll find out...
I am fortunate to live in a city which offers recycling as part of our weekly rubbish collection so we separate out our plastics, glass, papers, cans and regular rubbish. We also have a compost bin in our yard although I'm a little bit lazy about using it for kitchen waste. I’ve taken the recycling of our newspapers one step further though. I volunteer at the local SPCA every 2nd Sunday and they use cut up newspapers as liners for the kitties’ litter trays. So each night after I’ve read the newspaper I sit at the kitchen counter and cut up my paper and save it till I’m next at the SPCA. This is a job I’d ordinarily do during my time at the SPCA so I figure if I’ve done it before hand I get to spend more time loving on them all. Who could abandon a gorgeous creature like "Sylvia"? I am pleased to report that she didn't stay with us long and went to a good home.
Ok - so here's my recipe and for a change it is a completely original creation which evolved because I made a tomato and lentil soup that tasted far too sharp. I knew that a touch of sugar would take the edge off the sharpness but I felt that it needed something more. A pureed pumpkin base seemed an obvious choice and my instincts proved correct because the resulting combination was delicious and the pumpkin gave the soup a velvety base that contrasted nicely with the chunky bits. I’ve since made this soup 3 times and each time it has been a little different depending on the pumpkin (crown is a tad more watery than buttercup) and the seasonings and the quantities of other vegetables. Also, I’m truly my mother’s daughter and can’t resist putting a little something extra in my soups – most recently some leftover French onion soup. That batch was without a doubt the best.
Pumpkin, Tomato and Lentil Soup
Serves approx 8
Pumpkin – about half a butternut or big chunk of crown
Onion ½ - 1 depending on your preference
Garlic 2-3 cloves
Celery 1-2 stalks
Green pepper ½
Canned diced tomatoes in juice 1-2 cans – Moroccan or Indian spiced are nice
Lentils - organic of course! I used canned lentils because I had trouble sourcing dry lentils in the supermarket and I didn’t think that soup was a good use of my box of lentils de puy!
Saute very finely diced (really teeny tiny – about the size of a lentil) vegetables in a little oil or butter. Up to you what you put in - it might depend on what needs using up in your fridge!
Peel and dice the pumpkin and just cover with water and cook until the pumpkin is tender.
Drain the cooking water but save it
Mash the pumpkin
In a large pot add the sautéed veges and pumpkin plus as much pumpkin cooking liquid to get the consistency you like. It’s your soup so if you want to stand your spoon up in it that’s fine with me.
Add the canned tomatoes
Add the drained lentils
Adjust seasonings eg salt and pepper, cumin, garlic salt – whatever you fancy.
Add a teaspoon of sugar if tastes too sharp
This freezes really well.