Friday, March 13, 2009

Eating Down the Fridge, Day 5: It had to happen eventually. Leftovers.

EDtF, Day 5.

My apologies for the obvious lack of pictures this week. The dishes I’ve made just haven’t wanted to flirt with the camera. And my “photographer” is out of town.

So here’s a picture of Penguin, being adorable on top of the fridge.

(photo courtesy Christopher Greene)


And no. I have no idea what that is on the side of my freezer door. It will not clean off.

Tonight, I had a concert to go to. I was feeling overtired, overwhelmed and pulled in three different directions. It was not the night for pork and sauerkraut. Tomorrow. I promise.

(Yes, I am going out to dinner tomorrow night. But there’s nothing to stop me from making P+S at 3 in the afternoon.)

I opened the fridge and my eyes landed on the leftover red lentil soup from almost two weeks ago.

Soup keeps forever. And it was stored in a nifty jar mom gave me. A magical marshmallow fluff jar. Keeps the perfect amount of soup for one big bowl, the lid screws on really tight and it is a unique shape.

Mom’s not getting her jar back.

I checked the status of my greens, which I had washed, spun dry and put into plastic bags with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. On their last legs, but I could manage.

Then, tucked in the very back of my fridge, I saw two items that cemented the plan for dinner in my mind. The rest of a block of cream cheese and a small amount of Nikki’s Jezebel sauce.

I heated up the soup, made a quick salad with the spring mix and wilted the rest of the baby spinach in a saucepan. Then I dug out my last packet of saltines, spread them with cream cheese and topped each one with a small dollop of the sauce, which was how Nikki introduced me to the Jezebel magic in the first place. I want to share its goodness with you, but it will also have to wait.

Suffice to say it makes my Polish heart go pitter pat because it contains lots of horseradish. And I’ve been known to eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.

A big spoon.

The soup reheated beautifully, which gives me faith. I adapted it from a book called 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes. I made the soup on the stovetop no problem. It’s quick and easy and vegan! You can even do most of the prep the night before and have it ready in under 30 minutes. Try it and see. The coconut milk lends an interesting and tasty dimension to the soup.

Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk
serves 6


2 cups red lentils
1 T olive oil
2 sweet onions, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp turmeric
2-3 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns (or freshly ground black pepper to taste)
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes, including juice
1 quart vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 14-oz can coconut milk (can use lite – I did)
freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
cayenne pepper to taste


In a colander, rinse lentils thoroughly under cold water. Set aside.

In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook one minute.

Add turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper and cook, stirring, for one minute.

Add tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil. Stir in lentils, stock and water.

Simmer for 20 minutes to 1 hour or more. However long you have.

Stir in coconut milk, lemon juice and cayenne. Simmer 20-30 additional minutes.

Serve warm, with crusty bread.

See Monday's entry for the updated list of food being used up from my fridge.

1 comment:

  1. what's amazing to me is your cat *actually resembles* a penguin. check out that beaky face!