Friday, November 2, 2012

This And That

We are half way through Autumn.
Hard to believe when I live with temps in the high 80s!
I looked for a postcard that celebrates Autumn and this is what I found.

Vineyard Postcard

Postcard of Beaulieu Vineyard, 
Entrance to Historic Vineyards "BV1" and BV2", Napa County. 
From WINE COUNTRY:30 Postcards published by Chronicle Books


Let me ask you a question.
Do you soak your lentils?

Last weekend the first true cool down arrived and I made lentil soup.
I wanted to make something a little different and pulled out 
VEGETABLE SOUPS: From Deborah Madison's Kitchen.
Deborah soaks her lentils.
She says "they cook better, more quickly, and seem to have more flavor when soaked".
So, I soaked my lentils for 2 hours (Deborah's suggested time).

Here's the recipe I used - a good one for Meatless Monday!


All greens are good with lentils, and I (Deborah Madison) especially like to add them to a soup that's going to be a meal. That way you get all your good foods together in one bowl. 

1 1/2 cups brown or mixed lentils, soaked if possible
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 large onion, finely diced (I used a red onion)
1 carrot, grated or finely diced (I like my soups chunky and I love carrots. I put in two carrots chopped.)
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped or 1 bottled roasted pepper, chopped 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
6 to 8 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Hefty bunch of spinach, stems removed, leaves washed and chopped
Chopped mint or parsley for garnish
Red wine vinegar to taste

1. If you haven't soaked then, cover the lentils with hot water and set them aside while you start the rest of the soup.

2. Warm the oil in a wide soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, red pepper, and parsley. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then, until the onion is softened and starting to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, then stir in the tomato paste and mustard, working both into the vegetables and cooking until there is a film on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the wine, scrape up the pan juices, then simmer until partially reduced after a few minutes. Drain the lentils and add them to the pot with the bay leaf and water, using the larger amount if the lentils were soaked only briefly, Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 30 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and continue cooking until the lentils are soft, another 10 to 20 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper.

3. Add the spinach to the soup and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste the soup and add the mint and a little vinegar to sharpen the flavors.

This makes a LOT!


It's supposed to rain this weekend.
That is good.
Musashi's Garden needs the rain.

I'm planning on reading.
I've been saving THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
by Louise Penny for several months now -- just waiting for the right moment to visit
with Inspector Gamache.
This is the weekend!
A cup of tea, a kitty (or three) curled up next to me and a good book.

And when I'm not reading I'm going to do this:


Many thanks to the lovely Beth for hosting Postcard Friendship Friday each week.
Light and love to her and to her family.

I'm also joining On The Menu Monday.

Remember to pray for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Wishing you well, much joy and a fun filled weekend!


Deb said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I will make this for sure. I am sitting at the computer enjoying a cup of chick pea, vegetable soup that my veggie -lovin' daughter made. She would love this recipe, too. I'm calming down just looking at this beautiful photo. Deb

Sherry said...

I just finished "The Beautiful Mystery". You have to tell me when you think when you are finished.

Janet said...

No autumn temps here either...still in the 70's and 80's.

The soup sounds good. I've never soaked my lentils but next time I'll give it a try.

VioletSky said...

what a perfect postcard showing autumn colours - now why can't we get the trees to always turn their leaves at the same time!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So what did you think -- did soaking the lentils make a difference? Love that LOLcat!

Ruth Kelly said...

I've been looking for a good lentil recipe. Will try it.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

What a stunning postcard! Our autumn colour has almost all gone and things are turning decidedly chilly. So, to warm myself up, I am taking note of your lovely soup recipe. Just what I need. :)

Corrine at said...

Beautiful shot of the vineyards, I love the golden shimmer. Lentils, I love the little french black lentils, no don't soak, but maybe I will try! Happy reading. xox

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What a beautiful Autumn imgae. I do not make bean, or lentil soup often, but when I do, I give them a really good rinse and short soak and then slow, slow, slow cook them until tender~

Barb said...

I think I've biked down that road in Napa! Have a restful reading weekend Snap. (It's impossible to cook lentils at altitude - they just won't soften.)

Mary said...

Beautiful postcard Snap! We've been in the 60's during the day and 40's at night, so our leaves are starting to show some fall color and it's soup weather. Your lentil soup sounds delicious!

You have such willpower to save a book for several months :)

Betsy Adams said...

Yes, I soak my lentils... The recipe looks great. Thanks!!!

When I lived in Texas, I remember crying when seeing beautiful Fall pictures. I missed my mountains SO much when I lived down there... Glad I moved back to TN.


Carole said...

Thanks for visiting my blog the other day. I've been pretty stagnant with it most of the summer and have only started to try and post again. I've lost what little readership I had, but that's life.

I hope you're doing well. Wish we'd have an Indian Summer, but we're full swing into the rainy season.

See you again soon. :-)

Cezar and Léia said...

The monk studying with the master is really amusing!
God bless you!

KathyB. said...

The weather outside here is miserable, cold & rainy. Your soup recipe has me hungry for good soup and hot , freshly baked bread.

I have used lentils, but not in large quantities, usually as a little something extra in the soup.

I can't think of a better way to spend such a day than curled up with a book and a cup of tea...and maybe blogging !

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful Autumn.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I never soak lentil before I cook them, but I will try this next time! Your soup sounds good --perfect for fall.

Thank you for all your kind words of support for the Hurricane Sandy. I have been voluteering at a temporary shelter in Brooklyn the past few days for people that lost their homes. It is wonderful to see how many people are helping and donating goods that are needed!

Moni - Zuhaus at Home said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet note! I appreciate it!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Yumm! Soup recipe looks good. Thanks for sharing. I'm struggling a bit with fixing things to eat that are both tasty and good for me; this seems to fit the bill. I'd have to cut waaay back on the salt, but that's not a problem. The "makes a lot" notation is a bit worrisome; I wonder if, sans spinach, it would freeze well. Seems to me the spinach and other last minute ingredients could be added to reheated soup.

Gorgeous Autumn photo!


I love lentils and this soup sounds yummy with the added spinach. Thanks for the recipe. Beautiful Autumn image and so is the cute monk, lol..Loved having you over, thaks honey. Have a blessed week.

Carol at Serendipity said...

Good morning Snap! I think I am back in business on the internet. I have enjoyed your posts on FB. Thank goodness for my iPhone.

I have never soaked lentils but I shall try. Your soup sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.


Brenda said...

Good morning, Snap: Your recipe for the lentil soup sounds so yummy. Wine and mustard...quite a combination! I think I may have to try this one. AND YES I do soak lentils, pintos, red name it. Always soak before cooking. Your friend is right; it does make them better!
Wonderful post!

Brenda said...

OH, I forgot to mention your postcard. LOVE IT and wishing I was walking down that road surrounded by all that beauty! It's an ahhhh moment. I wish we had beautiful trees like that here in the South.
Hugs again,