Curried Lentil Cauliflower Soup w/ a side of Carrot, Beet & Kale Chips
This is a good thing to make when you want something healthy and satisfying. These two recipes are delicious, inexpensive and easy. I used pantry staples and garden veggies to make this today. This whole meal is vegan if you use veggie stock in the soup.
One unusual ingredient here is Sumac, the red spice in the shot glass. Sumac looks like chili powder, but instead of being hot, it’s got a savory, lemony flavor that’s very fresh and delicious. I usually buy it at the Middle Eastern grocery store.
The kale, carrot and beet chips on the plate were grown in our back yard. I’m in the process of harvesting and using up all the carrots and beets growing in two large pots out back to make room for eggplants and squash. Our kale is still growing vigorously in the raised bed even though it’s getting warm. Kale is much more heat tolerant than I thought it would be. And it makes delicious chips!
For the vegetable chips: Turn oven very low, about 275. If you have a convection oven, put that to the lowest setting. Mine goes down to 300.
In order to get crispy chips, slice the carrots and beets very thinly. I don’t have a mandoline, so I used a knife. Cooking them on a pizza pan with holes or cookie rack helps the hot air to circulate, promoting even crisping.
Spritz with olive oil spray on both sides, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes & check. Some of the small ones might be done. Eat those. Flip the ones that aren’t crisp yet, and continue cooking for a few minutes. It’s ok if they don’t all get crispy, some of the fatter ones I made came out sorta chewy with caramelized edges, and that was delicious too.
Meanwhile, tear kale leaves off stems, toss with olive oil spray, salt and pepper. Cook on a separate cookie sheet. They crisp up faster than the root vegetables, about 4 minutes.
For the soup: In a heavy bottomed pot, sauté 1 chopped onion, 2 or 3 celery stalks with leaves, 2 carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of dry red lentils, rinsed, 2 tblsp chicken base & 3 or 4 cups of water, or 2 containers chicken or veggie stock, 1 bay leaf, celery salt, chopped garlic, pinch of garlic powder, pinch of turmeric, pinch of curry powder, and 1 whole tomato, cored and cut in half. (As the soup cooks, the tomato will fall apart and you can easily remove the peels.)
Let the soup simmer for 45 minutes. Once it’s all cooked and hot, add big cauliflower florets and let those cook an additional 5 or 10 minutes in the soup. I like my cauliflower al dente.
Serve each bowl with 1 or 2 big cauliflower pieces, garnish with vegetable chips, and a pinch of sumac. I keep the sumac separate because I like things very lemony, but my husband likes it not as lemony.
Sorry this was long, but it’s two recipes in one. Enjoy!!