I just got back from an awesome vacation in Mexico. My family went four hours south of Cancun to a little hotel on the beach, called Mayan Beach Garden. We had a fantastic time, we celebrated 3 birthdays, Sister and Chris got engaged, and in general had a wonderful time together. It was an excellent vacation, made even better by having absolutely fantastic meals that I didn’t have to lift a finger for!
While it’ll likely be a long time before a go a whole week without cooking again, I am trying to do some better planning to get ahead with meal prep. A great strategy I’m trying to get in the habit of using, is freezing meals. Soup is especially easy to make a large batch of and freeze for a later time.
I made this soup for December’s Carroll Cafe. It was a huge hit and was absolutely delicious. There are a ton of flavors going on in this soup, with hearty lentils keeping it filling.
Adapted from Lisa’s Kitchen
- 1 oz (1 pkg) dried mushrooms (I used shiitake)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large (28oz) can diced tomatoes
- 3 (14oz) cans coconut milk, shaken
- 9 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dried dill
- 2 tsp za’atar or sumac
- 3 lemons, juiced
- salt and pepper, to taste
Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of very hot water for about 20 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving the liquid for later, and chop mushrooms, set aside.
In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the jalapeños and garlic, stirring until softened. Add the soaking liquid from the mushrooms, tomatoes, coconut milk, 6 cups vegetable stock, and lentils. Bring to a boil and add the mint, paprika, dill, and za’atar, mix well and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender. Add more stock as necessary. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.