Two weeks ago I was pulling away from the Black Mountain Inn Bed and Breakfast and headed to my sisters. I wanted to make a stop first for lunch though in Asheville NC. You see they have a couple most groovy Vegan/ Vegetarian restaurants. I had googled and researched, yes I know crazy food stalker me, and I picked Plant http://plantisfood.com/
I was blessed to have a taste bud party at there, a local vegan restaurant that was absolutely one of the best places I have eaten. Fresh, vibrant and tasty. It was a modern, yet cozy place with a friendly atmosphere. Of course they did seat this lone diner in the corner 🙂 It allowed me good viewing opportunities and the only thing that could have made it better was sitting at the bar and watching the magic as the chefs prepared this beautiful food.
I started out with a lentil curry soup served with a toasted ciabatta point slathered with smoked hummus.
Now I am speaking of the soup today and if you are lucky enough to receive my once a week email I praised highly the smoked hummus and even shared a recipe that gives a wink to this masterpiece that Chef Jason Sellers has perfected with his recipe… I literally could have eaten a whole bowl of that glorious mouth pleaser!! I digress… I am talking about soup today!! The soup had my taste buds dancing. I am sure that the faces I might have made while eating gave the other diners a little snicker! A curry lentil creation was not overly complex, it was light, yet full of flavor and while there was a tomato type base, it was too tomato tasting. There was enough going on in that soup that I had trouble distinguishing all the nuances that might make these flavors something to recreate at home… that is the mark of a great chef, way to go Chef Jason! leave them wanting more and only able to get it from you!
Last Saturday was chilly and I couldn’t get that curry lentil soup out of my head, so into the kitchen I went. Surely I could come up with something close to the beautiful flavor of the lentil curry soup. Come close maybe, maybe somewhere in the ballpark … like somewhere in the outfield of what I had at Chef Jason had served up at Plant. While my soup wasn’t up to the standards of a seasoned chef, it had some good flavors that satisfied my taste buds. It certainly satisfied my lentil and curry fix and warmed up my insides and out! It was made with what was available in the cabinet and fridge. That is always fun on a slow cold Saturday to challenge a girl who thinks she can’t create without a recipe to manipulate. I’ll share what I came up with and if you get a great urge for a soup on this rainy day, give this a try. It will give you a little mouth flavor and lots of good protein and fiber. Check out your cabinet and see what you have lurking in there to whip a little bowl of spicy dance for your taste buds!
Debbie’s Lentil creation
1/2 cup dry lentils
3 Tbs. onion chopped
2 carrots diced
1 small garlic clove diced/minced
1 15oz can organic tomatoes diced
3/4 Cup Veggie broth
1/2 teas. curry or to taste
smoked salt and a pinch of cayenne if you want 🙂
cilantro sprigs to garnish
I basically sauteed the onion and veggies (I didn’t use oil, just a little bit of the veggie broth, but you could use a little oil I am just in a phase of not using it much)
Add the tomatoes, carrots, veggie broth,lentils let simmer for about 20 minutes before adding the spices.
Add curry and other seasoning to taste and let cook another 20 minutes or so. You might need to add more veggie broth if you like your soup a little less heavy. I actually realized I had some mushrooms so I added a few to my soup too.
As you can see my soup looks nowhere like Chef Jason’s. As I said though, it had the ability to satisfy the taste buds that were wanting a little spice, warmth and the belly the filling power of a soup on a cold afternoon. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. As long as you are tasting as you go and using flavors you like, you just might surprise yourself. Keep a pen and paper handy, make notes… just in case you like what you create, you want to be able to come close to all that goodness next time! I am learning that lesson as I write this.
Happy Healthy Eating!