(1) I want tomato soup. With lentils. And pumpkin. (2) I want soft apples.
Since everybody on all the vegan cookery journals-or-boards is talking about Thanksgiving and practice dinners, I decided to make the soft apples "savory" instead of sweet (so -- chutney, not applesauce or baked) and make the meal a sort of pre-Thanksgiving practice. These were dinners on consecutive nights. Recipes are below, beneath the cut.
1. Tasty Tomato Lentil Soup
I had been intending a sambar (means: spicy South Indian lentil soup), but made a sweet Italian-spiced soup instead, accidentally on purpose. This is (1) the best soup I've ever made and (2) the first tomato soup I've ever made. I completely winged the recipe (surprise! -- not) and was so happy with it. AH. I had also been intending to make some lentil/chickpea cutlets, and then didn't: the lentils got put into the soup and the chickpeas, thankfully soft, became hummus on toast.
Prep: soak .75c red lentils in (hot) water and, if you want homemade hummus, 1c chickpeas in (hot) water. Once the chickpeas have absorbed the water, add more and cook them on low heat for a really, really long time. Or, if possible (not for me), just buy a can of chickpeas and make your hummus with that.
1 yellow onion, as many garlic cloves as you like (I used 6? or 8?)
250g green beans
250g squash ("pumpkin" here)
1 handful fresh parsley
oil (mustard, olive, etc.)
salt, oregano, basil, marjoram, etc.
the lentils you're already soaking (to cut down on cooking time)
Because of the funky set-up in our kitchen (electric heaters for stoves whose heat we can't control), I put the tomatoes into our blender and pureed them. You could do that or slowly cook them with water. (Personally, I'd prefer to use the blender, regardless of what my kitchen situation was. It's just Easier.)
Sautee the onion, carrot and garlic in oil with some salt. When the onions have carmalized, add the tomato puree, green beans, squash, spices, red lentils and water. Let everything cook down and get friendly. Add more water, etc. as needed. Cook until everything is soft and yummy, then garnish with the parsley. A little bit on lemon might have been nice, too.
If you use everything listed here + the water I used (er, and my pot, I suppose), you make a little bit more than 2.5L of soup = enough for me and my dad to eat this for dinner with some hummus toast.
2. Apple Chutney and Veggies
I was very sad to discover I can't eat apples in Benaras anymore since I'm allergic to the chemicals on them. This bummed me out for a week until I remembered - duh! - that applesauce exists. Then, people here started talked about cranberries, different gravies and sauces for veggies, etc. and this idea came to mind: savory cooked apples + veggies!
I steamed a bunch of winter veggies ( !! broccoli [here two months earlier than last year, dude], cauliflower, green beans, pumpkin) and in the water which was steaming them, boiled potatoes, a beet, broccoli and cauliflower stems, broccoli leaves and a carrot. The potatoes got mashed with olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley and Polish potato spices; the rest got sprinkled with the Polish potato spices and some soy sauce. The steamed veggies were mostly covered in chutney (see below), but some got soy sauce, lemon or honey, too.
The really, really exciting thing is the chutney. Here is a picture of it cooking. Look how beautiful it is! =)
250g apples (approx. 3 smallish apples)
1 green onion
3 fists golden raisins
1 fist dried cranberries [I would have used more, but you can't buy them here
and we only have one 100g pack from my dad's last trip to Poland]
6 cloves, squished
1 piece cinnamon bark cut into bits
a very small amount of fresh ginger, cut into bits
a few tablespoons of my ginger tea
In a pan, heat sesame oil, ginger and other spices. Add the onion part of a green onion and let it carmelize. Add the apples, cubed, and dry fruit. Cut the green part of the green onion and add 1/3 of it to the apples along with some (ginger) water. Cover. As the apples cook, keep adding bits of the green onion and covering. You want everything to be sweet, soft and delicious. I think it took 15 or 20 minutes on "low" heat to cook the apples to the point where I liked them? but my dad complained and said he wish I'd cooked them more. (I countered and said: I wish I'd cooked more.)
Anyway. They are fantastically delicious, especially with broccoli and pumpkin/squash. Next week, I want to try doing the same thing but with pears and dry figs, or if pears don't exist, then apples and dry figs. I was also thinking that if I had an oven (alas! I do not), I would buy squash, hollow it and bake it with this + pecans or walnuts and maple syrup inside.