Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew
(Serves 8-10) – Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
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A few days after coming back from vacation I realized how bare my cupboards were. So I made a soup, it’s my ‘go to’ when I have minimal ingredients or leftovers. Since soup is so simple to make. On Mother’s day my mom was over my aunt’s house, so that is where I made my stop to visit. Just before leaving, my aunt gave me some Calabaza (pumpkin-like squash – tastes similar to butternut squash) that she grew in her garden. Best part was that she already had prepared it – chopped up and frozen, ready for use in freezer bags. She said that she had so many so she gave me at least 3 freezer bags worth, yay! Free food. 🙂 Since I’m not yet ready to venture out to the supermarket I see what else I can find in the pantry and fridge for soup. I’ll list the ingredients just keep in mind that its not an exact recipe since it felt like I was just dumping ingredients as I went 🙂 . This is literally all I had left; I didn’t even have an onion. The Calabaza just broke down during cooking and made the soup very creamy. If you try and make this one, you can add more water if you want more of a soupy soup. All of us really enjoyed this, as is, thick and stew like; it was very hearty. I ate it straight up just in a cup. The kids enjoyed their serving over rice. People say when life gives you lemons – make lemonade. I say when life leaves your cupboards bare – make soup. Enjoy!

Lentils and Calabaza – Soup/Stew

  • Servings: 8-10 ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: VeganRescue.com

Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp Canola Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I was even out of Olive Oil, sheesh)
3 Russet Potatoes, peeled & chopped
3 Carrots, peeled & chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 (14.5oz) Can of Petite Diced Tomatoes
2-3 Cups Calabaza
1lb dry Brown Lentils, picked thru and rinsed
10 Cups Water
Salt/Pepper/Cayenne Pepper/Celery Seed/Garlic Powder/Oregano to Taste
5-6 Lacinato Kale, stem removed/chopped

Directions:
-Heat Oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the Potatoes and Carrots; let them go for about 3-5 minutes. Add Garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
-Stir in Tomatoes and Calabaza (see note above – Calabaza tastes similar to a butternut squash. It’s a squash – like a pumpkin). Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes then add Lentils and Water.
-Bring to boil. Cover then reduce heat to simmer for about 30-45 minutes until Lentils are cooked. (I cooked for 45 minutes for creamy perfection).
-Add Seasoning to Taste. Then stir in chopped Kale. I let this stand for about 10 minutes before serving. (One it would be too hot to eat right away anyway and Two it allows some heat to get thru the Kale without killing the darn thing during the cooking process. That’s why I add it last). I do the same with spinach and over veggies a lot in soup too.
(I used about 2 Tsp Celery Seed, Cayenne Pepper depends on how much heat you enjoy. Also, if you have Goya Adobo Seasoning that would probably work great here instead of individually adding Pepper, Oregano, Garlic powder etc. or even an Italian seasoning would be nice).

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