In the tradition of daily newspapers, many of which feed their muses on Wednesday with food-related content, I'm starting a new feature here at What Do I Know?: the Wednesday Food Section. Every Wednesday I'll feature a recipe I've made and loved, usually vegan, but if you really dig cholesterol and factory farming, feel free to substitute eggs and dairy.
I came up with this recipe for Healing Soup when a friend was undergoing chemo. I found out later she was too sick to eat more than a few bites of the meals I'd brought her, but she was too kind to hurt my feelings, even when her own pain was immense.
So in memory of Rebecca Gault, one of the classiest redheads I've ever known, here's a hearty soup filled with warmth and lots of good cancer-fighting ingredients. It's a favorite on cold days. (Why are cold days in March especially spiteful?) Serve to those you love, with crusty wholegrain bread and olive oil.
A bowl of Healing Soup chases away winter colds.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt vegetable stock, or enough to cover vegetables
1 cup green lentils
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon miso
Heat oil and add onion, plus carrots, celery and garlic, as they are prepared. Sauté a few minutes, then add stock, kale, and lentils. Cook over medium heat until kale begins to lose its color, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients, except miso. Cook 20 minutes or until lentils and carrots are soft. Turn off heat and add miso, mixed with a little liquid from the soup or with warm water. Serve warm.
*Notes about ingredients: Green "le Puy" lentils are preferred; they hold their shape better than brown, and are less starchy. Health food stores sell them in bulk, but if you can't find them, substitute plain brown lentils. Miso can be found at most health food stores or Asian grocers. If you can't find it, leave it out. I've used plain kale as well as the more adventurous dino-kale (aka Lacinato) or exotic Russian kale for this recipe; any will work.