I taught a class on February 4th and asked the students at the end, “About which recipe would you like me to blog?”
They overwhelmingly replied, “The Soup!”
This delicious soup lasts five days in the refrigerator, and is packed with healing spices that can have a salutatory effect on the body when used regularly.
- Cayenne pepper has been given credit for lowering cholesterol, fighting infection and acting as a natural anti-inflammatory.
- Turmeric has been given credit for preventing cancer, acid reflux, inflammation, and Alzheimer’s.
- Cumin has also been given credit for preventing Alzheimer’s.
- Ginger has been given credit for aiding digestion and circulation, lowering cholesterol, and acting as an anti-inflammatory. It also speeds the recovery of a cold and sore throat and settles an upset stomach.
- Beans are a great source of iron, fiber, and protein and also help lower cholesterol.
Karen Lee Secret: Roasting cumin enhances the flavor. I like to roast ¼ cup cumin seeds in a small iron skillet over low heat for a few minutes or until the seeds are a little darker and smell good. Let cool then pulverize in a Krups electric coffee mill or use a mortar and pestle. Store in refrigerator in a covered brown glass jar. Roasted cumin will keep its aroma for three months.
Split Pea Soup with Spiced Yogurt © Karen Lee 2014
- 1 2/3 cups organic yellow split peas
- 6-7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (green stem removed if any), sliced
- 2 cups diced sweet white onion (such as Vidalia) or half onion and half leek
- ½ cup carrot, scrubbed but not peeled
- ½ cup diced celery
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1/3 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
- Spiced yogurt
- Juice of one lemon
- Chopped cilantro
- Wash split peas, drain and simmer in 5 cups of the stock for 1 hour, cover askew, or until almost soft. Stir every fifteen minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Pour the olive oil in a heated skillet over low heat. Sauté garlic and onions for 4 to 5 minutes until they just begin to color. Add carrots and celery, ginger, and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, salt, and cayenne; sauté over low heat for another 3-4 minutes until spices get a little darker and their aroma is released. Take care not to burn the spices. Add the tomatoes and simmer a few minutes. Then add the cooked peas and the remaining stock. With cover askew, simmer until the split peas are soft, approximately 20 minutes.
- To serve the soup, place one cup of pea soup in a bowl. Add 1½ teaspoons of lemon juice. Sprinkle with cilantro and a dollop of spiced yogurt.
© Karen Lee
The Spiced Yogurt recipe is adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison and can be made two days in advance and stored in refrigerator. Yields four to six portions.
- 1 cup plain whole yogurt, hung, or use Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- If using plain yogurt, cut a piece of cheesecloth about an 8-inch square. Rinse in cold-water; squeeze dry. Line strainer with cheesecloth and drain yogurt in strainer for a few hours.
- Place the yogurt in a bowl. Using five chopsticks (Chinese wooden whisk), stir in the spices.
© Karen Lee
I love to make vegetable stock. It is easy (much faster than chicken stock), great to have on hand, and has a wonderful aroma that fills the whole apartment. As soon as it is ready I pour myself a cup and drink it like tea. Healthy, sweet, delicious, light, it makes me feel so good.
You can use vegetable stock for soups, rice, and braising vegetables. It lasts for 5 days in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for several months. If freezing, freeze in plastic with at least 2 inches of head space to allow for expansion.
- 3 cups of dried chickpeas
- 2 ribs of celery cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 carrots washed (but not peeled if organic) cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2 small to medium turnips, washed (but not peeled if organic) cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 or 2 parsnips, small to medium, cut into ½ inch dice
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 4 cups or more green part of the leeks, cut into ½ inch pieces
- Half a bunch of parsley stems
- 2 bay leaves
- Place chickpeas on a white plate and go over for stones and dirt. Wash chickpeas by submerging and lifting in a bowl of cold water, then drain. Soak the chickpeas in water to cover by 7 inches overnight (8 hours).
- Drain then add to stockpot. I like to use one that has a 6-quart capacity. Stainless steel or enamel.
- Wash, cut, and then add all the vegetables and the bay leaves to the stockpot.
- Cover with cold water by 3 inches.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn the heat to medium and cook at a fast simmer for 1 hour, no cover.
- Turn off the heat, and allow to steep for 1 hour. Strain, cool and refrigerate.
- I like to make secondary stock by placing the drained vegetables in a clean stockpot and adding 1 quart of water and simmering for 20 minutes, then drain. Refrigerated, vegetables stock will last 5 days or it can be frozen for 6 months.
- N.B. the cutting of the vegetables does not have to be precise.
© Karen Lee
Tips: Do not let the soup boil at any time. Just a lazy simmer. Measure the dried spices level. I prefer to make my own stock but if you wish to buy stock choose one without salt, msg, or chemicals. I like to use a combination of vegetable and chicken stock. Gently heat the stock in a separate saucepan before adding it to the soup.
If possible use organic lentils and vegetables. My first choice lentils are Shiloh Farms black beluga lentils, second choice is French green lentils, but you could use any kind of lentils. Spread the lentils out on a white plate and look them over for stones and shaft. Then wash them like rice, i.e., you put lentils in a bowl, cover them with cold water; let any dirt particles float to the top and then pour them off along with the water. Soaking lentils over night is not necessary.
For the pasta my first choice is the tortellini made by a company in Bologna, named Bertagni. Their pasta is sold in N.Y.C. at Fairway and Zabars. Or you could use a short dried pasta of your choice. You can store the soup in the frig for 5 days. Great to come home to.
- ½ cup lentils, washed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to finish
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced (green stem removed, if any)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced leek (white and light green parts)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/3 tsp. cumin
- 1/3 tsp. turmeric
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes (or substitute canned tomatoes)
- 8-9 cups combination of vegetable and chicken stock
- ½ bunch Swiss chard, washed and cut finely
- 1 cup fresh tortellini, boiled and drained
- Rosemary oil (see recipe on blog) to add at the end or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup (or more) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and bring back to a boil. Add the bay leaves; cover, turn heat to low and simmer 35 to 40 minutes; taste to see is they are soft. Turn off heat.
- Place a wide pot 10 to 12 inches preferable stainless steel or enamel over high heat for one minute. Turn the heat to medium-low and add 3 tablespoons of oil and then the garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the onions and leeks and continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the salt, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne; continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and sauté another minute. Add the tomato paste and move it around with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes then add the tomatoes. Turn the heat to high and add 8 cups of stock, bring to just below boiling and then turn the heat to low and simmer 10 minutes with cover askew; then add the cooked lentils and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes, cover askew.
- In a separate 12-inch sauté pan, sauté greens in olive oil for 3-4 minutes adding a little stock as you go. Taste for salt just before serving, add the greens and the pasta to the soup; check the thickness and add more stock if necessary and bring back to a simmer. Serve with extra virgin olive oil drizzled into each bowl, or rosemary oil and grated Parmesan and chopped parsley.
© Karen Lee
I love to make stock out of the turkey carcass. So easy and so delicious.
Slice off any turkey meat, for sandwiches and pull off the skin that is left to save for Turkey Fried Rice, which I will cover on Monday.
Break up the carcuss then place it in a stock pot and add cold water (just barely to cover).
Bring to a boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for 4 hours.
Stir the stock with a wooden spoon or bamboo chopsticks every hour or so.
Turn off the heat. Allow to cool one hour.
Strain into a stainless steel bowl.
I like to store the stock in a bain marie, which is a tall stainless steel vessel. I buy them from Bridgekitchenware.com.
When the stock has completely cooled I put it in the refrigerator. The next day I remove the fat.
You can keep the stock for 4 days in the frig or freeze it.
Great to use when making rice or soup or for braising vegetables.
When freezing, use plastic and allow at least 1½ inches of head space as the stock expands when frozen.