When food allergies are first diagnosed, cooking becomes incredibly challenging. My best suggestion when confronted with this overwhelming change in lifestyle is to keep meals very simple during that first period of adjustment, and save the search for new ingredients, substitutions and products for a little later.
This soup is a bowl of comfort with endless variations, perfect for that transitional period and any time after. It has a tomato base with lentils and potatoes plus any vegetables that are in season or on hand. It's gluten free, vegan, nutritious, thrifty, delicious and filling. I've added turkey sausage when my meat eating Midwestern family comes to visit, and lost track of the other variations I've made over the years.
Soup has another magical property. Vegetables that are controversial on my son's plate get gobbled down without hesitation when bathed in a savory broth. What's not to love?
The ingredients that usually stay the same when I make this are in bold print; feel free to add, omit or substitute the others according to whatever strikes your fancy or is available in your pantry.
Kitchen Sink Soup
(Click here for printable version.)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced, with leaves reserved
2-3 carrots, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic or 1 tsp powdered garlic
salt and ground pepper to taste
2 Tbs dried mixed Italian herbs
29 oz can crushed or pureed tomatoes
6-8 C water
1 C dried lentils, rinsed
1-2 lbs potatoes, peeled if desired and cut into small cubes
fresh herbs if available (I added some basil)
9-12 oz bag washed baby spinach
Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium. Add onion, celery, carrots and seasonings. Stir occasionally while cooking until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, water, lentils, potatoes herbs and reserved celery leaves. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes until lentils and potatoes are soft. Stir in spinach and adjust seasonings immediately before serving.
Makes a ginormous pot of soup. The leftovers freeze well.
|Getting down with the soup.|
I'm sharing my big pot o'soup with:
- Allergy Friendly Friday, hosted by Cybele Pascale,
- Souper Sunday with Deb of Kahakai Kitchen,
- Diane's Real Food Weekly at the Whole Gang and
- My Legume Love Affair, begun by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Smitha of Kannada Cuisine.
Finally here's a gratuitous shot of the Japanese Eggplant that just started flowering on my patio. I'll be posting more about our container garden later!