Recently I find myself enchanted by an unusual number of the recipes I see in my blog reader. This salad. This pasta. This pizza. I want to make half the recipes I see every day. At first I wondered if I was just feeling hungry, but then I realized: corn is in season.As you know, summer and soup are not confined to separate seasons here in Seattle. So when I received Christy Morgan’s vegan Blissful Bites cookbook in the mail today, I was scanning for a soup to serve with quinoa cakes tonight. You won’t be surprised to hear that it was a corn chowder that caught my eye.
Several things about this soup were surprising, though, at least to me. First, despite the longish ingredient list, it was a snap to make. It has both a good dose of curry powder and a generous scoop of miso; I would never have thought to combine the two, but the results were outstanding. Red lentils give the soup body, but the flavors are light; if ever there were a summer lentil soup, this is it. And of course the corn doesn’t hurt a bit. Corn and miso are a match made in umami heaven.
The last very sweet thing I loved about this soup was that my big girl helped me make it. She’s in her last days of being five, and taking six very seriously. She’s feeling older and more responsible, and it’s a treat for us both when we find ourselves with a rare moment alone in the kitchen. It was a pleasure to watch her carefully measure the spices into the pot, find vegetables in the fridge, and skip out into the garden to pick parsley. (She especially delighted in finding a patch of volunteer parsley in the lawn, which I had never noticed before.) Of course, after all that she declined to actually eat the soup. You win some…
Red Lentil Corn Chowder (adapted from Blissful Bites): Heat a spoonful of coconut oil in your soup pot. (Side note: today was the first time I’ve noticed my coconut oil being liquid at room temperature: it’s finally summer in Seattle!) Dice and saute the following with a pinch of salt: half an onion, a stalk of celery, a red or yellow pepper. When the vegetables have softened a bit, add 1 Tb. cumin, 1 Tb. sweet curry, and 1 tsp. oregano. Stir for a moment or two until they are toasty and aromatic, then add 1 c. sorted and rinsed red lentils and 6 c. water and bring to a boil. If you are using fresh corn, add about 2 c. of kernels now (if you are using frozen corn, wait until the lentils are cooked). Lower the heat and simmer until lentils are completely soft, about 20 minutes (if you are using frozen corn, add it now). Remove from heat, then add 3 Tb. miso dissolved in a little water, 1 Tb. red wine vinegar, and a handful of chopped parsley. Add additional salt to taste (I added another 1/2 tsp.).
p.s. I hear you loud and clear: you have nothing to say about Pinterest. That’s cool. I’ll just be puttering around over there (at pinterest.com/emmycooks, to be precise), looking at pretty pictures of things to cook.