Friday, March 9, 2012

Will Run For This Soup

Full [seven] times hath Phoebus' cart gone round
Neptune's salt wash and Tellus' orbed ground...
...since last I wrote anything here. It has been BUSY!

Lentil Roasted Garlic Soup with Chard
Not necessarily with cooking and baking, but with writing and dreaming and planning (also good things). Oh, and running. Yes, there has been an awful lot of running around here lately, due to my winning the lottery of DC runners: Cherry Blossom Ten-Mile Race on April 1st. In the spirit of spontaneity, I put my name in for the race in December, and heard back a couple of weeks later that I had gotten "lucky," and would have the rare opportunity to run 10 miles before most people had gotten out of bed on a Saturday morning. So I have been training, and the arm incident did not stop me for long.

As of this week, I've gotten up to 7.7 miles at a stretch, which took me 1 hour and 24 minutes. So, I'm getting close!

If I take a moment to reflect (tasting life in retrospection, as it were) on what voice inside me made me put my name on that list, I would say that running a race is a great example of setting a goal, devising a strategy, challenging yourself to meet your own expectations, and, I predict, feeling elated upon conquering what might have looked like an unconquerable mountain mere months before.

It's good practice, is what I'm getting at, for launching other types of efforts.

Consider this your encouragement from me, and let me know if you'd like more!

Now I see why they're called 'aromatic vegetables'...
Since I've been paying more attention to my digestion and eating habits lately (advisable when you rise early and run before eating), I've decided to try to go as vegetarian as possible in these last few weeks leading up to the race. In that vein, I made this recipe from The Daily Soup Cookbook, which has been bookmarked with a sticky note for-ev-er:
Lentil Roasted Garlic Soup.
The ingredients and procedure are below, modified for my special scaling-down (some in the fridge, some in the freezer) and wasn't-in-the-cupboard (only a puny amount of Puy lentils left, and didn't want to mix them) techniques:
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 1 Bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound 1/3 cup of french lentils
  • 8 cups 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 half of one 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • about 3/4 cup chopped chard
  • 3 Tablespoons 1 rough tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 Italian Parsley, chopped
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degree F. When it comes to temperature, loosely wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil and place in oven for 15-20 minutes, allowing it to roast. Remove from the oven, and let cool long enough to skin the cloves, placing the cloves into a food processor. Pulse to a near-paste. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot. When nice and slithery, add the onions, celery and carrots. Allow the aromatic vegetables to cook in the pot for 5-7 minutes, adding a slick more oil if necessary. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper, incorporating them into the vegetables. Allow to cook for 2-3 more minutes.
Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and partially cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for one hour.
After the hour, stir in the chopped chard, roasted garlic paste, the minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 5-7 more minutes in order to have the soup incorporate the new ingredients and wilt the greens.
Remove bay leaf and serve.
Serves 5-6.

1 comment:

  1. Lentils are GREAT runner's food!! You will be fabulous! Too bad I am not in time in DC to see you come over the finish line. We will have to celebrate later!