Saturday, February 4, 2017
VEGAN LENTIL AND BEAN SOUP with miso
It's been cold for the last few days. Really cold. At least to me. I've found the best way to cure the cold is to warm from the inside out using food, beverage in the form of warming teas or ginger water, moxa [a Traditional Chinese Medicine therapy] and yoga. Soups are my friend these days and this, my latest creation. Allowing my body to lead, I follow my tongue when creating the recipes found here. May sound kooky but when it comes to needs, my body knows best.
A bit crazy to admit, this is my first foray into using miso and I'm hooked. A food I've wanted to try for quite sometime, this seemed like a great way to give it a go. Miso is a fermented soy bean paste with a strong salty flavor. As with most foods, the fermentation process increases digestibility thus making the nutrients contained within more available to our digestive process. It happens to be a fantastic substitute for meat-based broths.
I use here and am partial to Eden Foods for a few reasons: they are a company local to my state and have impressive environmental standards, have a great fermentation process, cans are free of BPA, and Eden is one of the only store-bought brands of beans I can digest without uncomfortable side effects. You can find this brand at your local health food store and possibly your general grocery store or through Vitacost [a discounted healthy food online ordering option - sign up using this link and you'll receive $10 off your first order].
Soak the lentils the night before by placing measured lentils in a glass bowl. Cover the lentils with water so that the liquid rises about an inch over the lentils. Add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. Cover with a lid or a plate and let soak over night or for 8 hours. After 8 hours, drain lentils and rinse well. Set aside.
Prepare vegetables [carrots, celery, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, onions, and turmeric] by chopping and mincing prior to making the soup.
3 cups chopped carrots [4 - 6 whole]
3 cups chopped celery [1 small bunch]
1 cup finely chopped shitake mushrooms
1 medium - large onion, finely chopped
4 - 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, minced
3 - 4 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon each: dried thyme and oregano, ground cumin and coriander, Herbamore [optional]
2 - 4 teaspoons of sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 whole bay leaf
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes [no added salt]
4 cups green lentils, pre-soaked
1 15-oz can adzuki beans [Eden brand]
1 15-oz can cannellini beans [Eden brand]
8 cups water
2 tablespoons miso paste [Eden brand]
1/2 bag frozen leafy greens [chard, kale, spinach]
Heat the avocado oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the pot. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes [stirring frequently], add ginger and turmeric, and continue to cook the mixture for another 3 - 5 minutes or until onions become soft.
Add carrots and celery, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 - 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add tomatoes, lentils and water to the pot and increase the heat to high. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a strong simmer and add the beans. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Let soup simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until lentils become soft.
Blend the about 1/3 of the soup in either a blender or using an immersion blender.
Add miso paste and leafy greens. Taste and add salt if needed. Reduce heat to low for 3 - 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.