Vegan Pan Asian Mushroom Soup

This soup is all about the broth. Layers of flavor come together to create a complex broth in a relatively short amount of time.

It has a strong chinese influence, but it draws from various cultures.

It's great on its own and delicious over rice too. All the flavor is in that deep, dark, unctuous broth.

1 pint mushrooms, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup diced carrots
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 cup chopped kale
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed

4 cups water
3 tbls olive oil
1 tbl horseradish, the one with just vinegar, no mayo
1 tbl soy sauce
2 tsps chinese mustard
2 tsps dill
2 tsps crushed pepper flakes
2 tsps celery seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp paprika
3 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

In a large stock pot cook down your mushrooms with 1 tsp salt. I used cremini mushrooms, but it's dealer's choice. When they start to take on a little color add olive oil. Give it a stir the add th…

Cajun Lentils and Barley

I got this new spice blend at amazon. It's McCormick Bajou Cajun seasoning. It tastes great on just about everything. I'm not kidding. I sprinkle it on food every chance I get. No lie. I used it to make some dirty lentils and barley the other day. So much simpler than trying to mix tons of different individual spices.

I cook the lentils and barley in vegetable stock and a teaspoon or two of soy sauce and add 2 teaspoons of the spice mix. I like to have mustard green in the mix. So I add them in too.

I like to use about 1/3 each of lentils and barley. That makes a really good sized batch.

When all the stock is gone I simply finish the cooking process with water.

When the lentils and barley and greens have cooked for about 20 minutes and are tender I add some chopped bell pepper, minced garlic and jalapeno if I have it. And more of the spice mix and a teaspon of olive oil. Cook it just a minute or two more to slightly soften the veg and bring their flavors into the mix.

Taste. Keeping in mind the flavors will strengthen with a little rest together in the fridge. Adjust with more spice blend if desired. And maybe a little ground cayenne if you've got it. That adds a nice kick and greater depth.

It's good as side dish or an entree. It makes a really nice sandwich with some fresh onion and lettuce.