Monday, November 10, 2008

What's for Soup-Pear?

After a chilly, gray day slogging away at work, I headed home this afternoon determined to warm up the place in the most fragrant way: cooking.

I was ready. I mean, all I had in the refrigerator were ingredients: some vegetables, a jar of stock, condiments, but nothing ready to eat.

But I lucked out in finding a recipe in my collection that would use some of the produce lingering from my last CSA pickup, namely an eggplant, a red pepper, and some tomatoes.

This soup recipe, called Armenian lentil stew, combines cooked lentils with a touch of simmered dried apricot (I used dried ground cherries instead), then adds sauteed onion, eggplant, pepper, tomato, and spices like cinnamon and paprika. When it's all done, you add a bit of fresh parsley and mint to liven it up a bit.

In short, it's a good hearty soup for a chilly night. I would have loved to have some warm crusty bread with this, but I haven't baked bread in a while, so I just slurped this down, satisfied with the comfort it provided.

While the soup simmered, though, I also pulled out baking ingredients and threw together a spicy gingerbread with the last of my CSA pears (a dish previously made for guests at the Inn).

I used whole wheat and local spelt flours, a local egg, homemade applesauce, nonfat yogurt, local sorghum, and a host of delicious spices to make the batter -- which I poured in the pan atop the arranged pears, some melted butter, brown sugar, and walnuts. Not too sweet, with a warming kick of ginger, this simple cake made a wonderful finish to the meal.

I've almost cleaned out my fresh produce (aside from the keeping vegetables), and I can tell that the day is near when I will start eating from the freezer or the pantry.

But with such a souper start to winter meals, I don't think I'll mind.

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At 11/11/2008 9:16 PM, Blogger Tara said...

Oh, that is one of my favorite soups. Nummy! I just used our CSA butternut squash to make a butternut squash-apple-garlic soup that turned out quite well. We're savoring every last bit of CSA produce here. Is it June yet?

At 11/12/2008 6:42 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I had thought about making gypsy soup but didn't have garbanzos cooked, so it was back to the old lentil standby. :-)

Your butternut-apple-garlic soup sounds fantastic, Tara -- now I wish I had some apples left! Ah well, I'm sure I can come up with something with squash...

I know what you mean -- I'm already craving more greens. ;-)


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