06 October 2011

farro soup with butternut squash and kale

There are a lot of food bloggers that I admire. In particular, Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks continues to knock my proverbial socks off. After my birthday I found myself wondering around in a bookstore (noooooo!), and they just so happened to carry her brand new cookbook. I took a peek at it, and totally fell in love. I wanted to make all of it, right then and there! It's pretty cool when you find a vegetarian blogger that has a similar cooking style (and I aspire to cook more like her too). I like food that is warm, solid, and healthy, and generally I like it most if it gets made in one pot. One jerk of a reviewer called it "roly-poly vegetarian". Do you just walk around gnawing on carrots straight out of your organically farmed soil? Sorry sir or ma'am, if you are that jerk and you are reading this, but I think you could find a better word for it. It's damn good food. I like it. I dig that I enjoyed a delicious dinner (and leftovers!), and it didn't occur to me until I was cleaning up that it was totally vegan. Pat on the back.

So farro. It's hip and trendy. From what I gather, it's a whole kernel of wheat. It cooks up pretty quickly and has a nice chewy texture. You can also substitute for it with barley (cheaper!).

Oh, and for the record, I also bought a book on Homemade Sodas. Between my newfound love of hoarding glass jars and filling them with simple syrups, and my darling new SodaStream, it was the right thing to do. More on these developments later.

Onto the soup!! I made a few adjustments, mostly to use what was in the pantry...

2 T. olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 c. peeled and diced butternut squash
kosher salt
2 T. curry powder
1/4 t. smoked paprika
1/4 t. garam masala
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. ground turmeric
2/3 c. farro
1 1/4 c. green lentils, picked over and rinsed
5 c. veggie broth
2 c. coconut milk
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 bunch of kale, large stems removed and cut into ribbons (I like dinosaur kale best, but that's probably just because it is dinosaur kale! RAWR!)
1/4 t. coarsely ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and squash. Add a big pinch of salt and saute until the onions soften a bit, a couple of minutes. Add the spices and stir until the onions and sweet potatoes are coated and the curry is fragrant, a minute or so. Add the farro, lentils, broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 50 minutes, or until the farro and lentils are cooked through (now's a good time to prep that dino kale). Taste and season with more salt if needed. 10 minutes before the simmer finishes up, add the kale so that it wilts and cooks down. After the 50 minutes, off the heat, and stir in the lemon juice and white pepper. You can serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt (or plain + salt + lemon zest), but the soup is mighty fine all by its lonesome.


Oh yeah, and one other thing... I think I might be a little bit more like a real blogger now. I've joined forces with the mighty MN Food Bloggers group -- check me out, I'm listed on the website alongside some serious bloggers -- Zoe Francois, anyone? I'm merely ten lines above her on that righthand sidebar. :) I totally did a little Snoopy dance when I found the site, and even more so when I realized what a great resource the group is, and I can't wait to really be a part of its community.

Now I'd better hurry up and learn to use my camera like a big girl blogger.

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