Warmer soups are on the calender now - it's freezing at night, and barely in the 4os during the day. Getting a nice warm soup together quickly can be a life-saver after getting chilled to the bone.
Prepping the veggies and other ingredients properly can make a big difference in time and nutrition. The food processor becomes my good friend, by quickly turning chunks of hard veggies into fine dice - and they don't have to be done singly, just pitch them all in together and blitz! They will cook through with little heat, a priority for my preferred way of eating.
By using a low-heat method, the vegetables, even though in small pieces, don't turn to mush, as can be seen in the photo below. Low-heat just means bringing the pot barely to a boil, then turning off the heat. The remaining heat finishes the cooking process, the veggies maintain their shape and color. Beautiful!
A soup doesn't have to be cooked for hours, to warm you up, as this one proves. One of my favorite pre-raw soups has always been Sweet and Sour, and this is a good stand-in until I re-work my S & S recipe...
About noon the day before you want the soup, start by soaking a cup of brown lentils for about 8 hours. Then, drain and rinse, and let them set until the next afternoon, about 4 PM. They will have started to sprout, which is what we want. Sprouted grains and seeds need less heat to become soft, thereby preserving nutrients and enzymes, plus putting the phytates out of commission.
Using your processor, blitz to small dice:
1 large carrot
Put into a 2 quart pot. Add:
1 diced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
the sprouted lentils
Cover about 2" with water. Bring just barely to a boil, then immediately turn off heat and put the lid on the pot. Let set until the veggies and lentils are tender, about 5 minutes or so.
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 - 2 T. pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1- 2 T. tamari or fermented soy sauce (ie Kikomans)
Adjust the seasonings to your taste - more or less sweet, more or less salty, more or less heat from the jalapeno and chili powder.
Soups are very forgiving.
And delectably beautiful! See those litte pieces of green jalapeno, the red peppers, the orange carrots...this method of low-heat cooking allows the veggies to keep not only their nutrients, but their inviting colors, too.
I LOVE SOUPS!!!