Garam Masala Lentils

I've always been curious about garam masala. It certainly sounds interesting and tasty.

It's similar to a curry. A blend of spices. But it's less complex than a curry blend. It's usually used as a starting point and additional spices are added.

I got some as a gift and decided to try it with lentils and barley in a curry.

If you like curry and haven't yet tried adding garam masala, you should. It's easy to get online. It adds a whole new level of depth.

I love lentils in a curry because they need a lot of flavor and they bring texture as well as thickening properties. You don't want a loose or watery curry.

I made a huge batch. This yielded 2.5 quarts of food. So you may want to halve the measurements.

1 red bell pepper, diced
2 poblano peppers, diced
2 jalapenos, minced
2 serranos, minced
5 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup fresh kale
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup dry pearl barley
1 can coconut milk
3 heaping spoonfuls of my hari…

Nectar of the Gods Vegan Soup

It hasn't been all that cold yet, even though it's almost November. Still, my stomach is craving cold weather foods. I was going for a hearty vegetable broth based soup. I also wanted to see if I could successfully incorporate some vegan pea protein powder into the finished dish.

It's my first time using it and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I made sure to get an unflavored variety so it would be more versatile. It gave the broth a really nice color, but it's mostly flavorless. I kind of has a mild flour flavor to me. Which is fine by me. If I can put it into dishes and not notice it's there, that makes things easy. Other than that, my soup is a pretty classic vegetable soup  Of course, it's me, so it packs some heat.

It's got quite a lot of depth considering I only simmered it for maybe 20 minutes after sweating the aromatics. My secret for a really tasty broth is turmeric and paprika. They really go a long way to creating that familiar childhood homemade soup flavor without animal products and in a minimal amount of time.

This recipe makes a very large pot of soup. Feel free to halve or quarter everything.

1/4 pound celery hearts, thinly sliced
1/2 pint button mushrooms, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 long hot pepper, sliced
3 jalapeno peppers, deseeded, deveined, minced
2 serrano peppers, sliced
2 habernero peppers, deseeded, deveined, minced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 can garbanzos, drained
1 large dinner plate full of chopped fresh kale
6 cups water
3 tbls pea protein powder
2 tbls spicy mustard
1 1/2 tbls turmeric
1 1/2 tbls paprika
1 1/2 tbls salt
1 tbl fresh black pepper
2 tbls olive oil, I used basil infused

In a large stock pot, sweat the celery, mushrooms and onions with half the salt. When they start to go soft add your oil and continue to sweat over low heat until they are very tender.

Add water and kale. Turn heat to medium. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes.

Summer 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Sprinkle with course black or sea salt to serve.