Thing the first: my favourite thing about Italy was not the gelato (although it was delicious). It was also not the pasta (and I think I ate more fish than pasta anyway). It was not the pizza. It was the mozzarella di Bufala Campana, which has ruined most other cheese (and definitely any other mozzarella; you may as well be eating snot if you’re going to bother with something that substandard) for me.
Thankfully, we can acquire actual mozzarella here, so I am not feeling too terribly bereft.
Otherwise, it’s decidedly autumn here.
So, for the week upcoming, I am making (among other things*), Moroccan lentil soup. I got this recipe from some thread on Metafilter (which for some reason I’ve never bothered joining, even after some 8+ years of lurking), and it has served me well in the past.
Moroccan Lentil Soup
–1 cup dried lentils
–1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
–1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
–1 onion, chopped
–2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
–1/2 cup chopped celery
–1/2 cup chopped carrots
–28 oz can of diced tomatoes (and juice)
–4 cups vegetable broth
–1 1/2 tsp garam masala
–1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
–1/2 tsp cumin
–1/4 tsp nutmeg
–1/4 tsp cinnamon
–1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
Use at least a 5 quart crockpot for this. It makes a lot.
Chop up all of your vegetables and add them to the crockpot. If you are rushed in the morning, consider chopping the vegetables at night—it took me longer than I wanted it to. Drain and rinse off the beans, add to the pot. Add the dried lentils. Grate your ginger, and add it along with the dried spices. Stir in the vegetable broth and tomatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Soup tastes best the longer you cook it, and it is even better the next day.
Before serving, use an immersible blender and pulse to blend some of the vegetables and beans together. This isn’t necessary, but it really improves the texture of the soup and melds the flavors nicely.
* Some kind of linguine with chili and chocobo (fake/veggie chicken) and a couscous salad for lunches.