A new month means a new Meal of the Month recipe from our Member Affairs Committee (MAC)! This month the recipe was contributed by Co-op member Nancy Steele – a tasty, naturally low-fat soup with fresh shiitakes, onions, lentils, and long-grain brown rice.
Tis the season – I was able to use local shiitakes, local criminis, local basil, WA yellow onions, and local garlic in my soup. This recipe also has some pasta sauce in it, which I thought was an inventive use. Nancy recommends using Classico Tomato and Pesto sauce, but I think if you already have some in your fridge, whatever you have will work. I used Rising Moon Tomato/Basil pasta sauce (because we don’t carry the Classico brand at our stores anymore) and it turned out real nice, and was vegan to boot!
Soups are great because you can always add to them over the week (especially with a recipe this large). Everyone who tried the soup really liked it, and some additions were suggested by customers, including adding lamb meatballs, sausage, vegetarian sausage, tofu, and hot peppers. Any of these would be great, and would change the flavor profile enough so you wouldn’t get tired of the leftovers!
September Meal of the Month
Low-Fat Lentil & Rice Soup
1 –2 T Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
Salt and pepper
3 –4 large garlic cloves, minced or chopped
1/2 lb shiitake (or crimini) mushrooms, sliced
Large handful of fresh basil, chopped
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t hot red chili flakes (or more to taste)
1 T ground cumin
2 t curry powder
1 1/2 c organic lentils
1 c long grain brown rice, rinsed
10 c water
1/2—1 c Pasta Sauce (Tomato Pesto/Basil)
1/3 c red wine
2 t sugar
2 T brown rice syrup
1 T brown rice vinegar
1 bay leaf
1. In large stockpot, sauté chopped onion in olive oil over medium-low heat until the onion becomes opaque.
2. Add garlic, shiitakes, and basil.
3. Sauté for several minutes, then add oregano, salt/pepper (to taste), chili flakes, cumin, and curry powder. Stir well.
4. Turn heat up to medium and stir in lentils. Continue stirring for 5 minutes, making sure lentils are well coated with the oil/herb/spice mixture.
5. Carefully add (uncooked) brown rice and stir until combined.
6. Stir in water, pasta sauce, red wine, sugar, brown rice syrup, rice vinegar and the bay leaf.
7. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for at least 40 minutes, or until rice and lentils are tender.
8. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Note: The longer this soup cooks, the better it will taste!
Soups that have spices in them will be even further enhanced if made the day before and reheated, although you may need to add more water if the rice and lentils have absorbed most of the water.
Serve with Rosemary bread, naan bread, or the Swan Bakery’s GF Herb Rolls
Nancy Steele © 1996
One note – this may be our last Meal of the Month recipe. The program has run for a year now, and is currently being reassessed by the MAC. It may return in November as a slightly different, or possibly a completely different program. If you have feedback you would like the MAC to have on the program, please forward it to Jean Rogers, the Co-op’s Board Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can tell you when the next meeting is, or forward your comments/suggestion to the MAC!