janet @ the taste space

Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on April 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup

This blog is definitely a labour of love.

More than sharing recipes and my experiences in the kitchen, it has morphed into a sort of journal, chronically my adventures with cycling, gardening and whatever life throws at me. Some blogs cater to their readers’ wants…. me, I share what I like and most likely if you are reading, you will like it, too. 🙂 Or, if I muck things up, I hope to pass on my wisdom. (PS, I loved hearing your confessions about your own kitchen bloopers after my last post)

Another benefit of writing this all out? I can learn from my old mistakes, too.

Rob and I recently connected with one of our neighbours and we started chatting about our garden. Did we have any tips?  I couldn’t think of any tips other than a) beans can be grown easily from seeds; and b) kale and collards from seedlings gave us better results. She also asked for some pictures. As I dug up some of my garden updates, I re-read my posts and uncovered other golden nuggets: tomato cages for the beans! get rid of those bugs from the kale ASAP! my preferred basil plant..

I should listen to myself more often. I dug up another old post, when I first started my cycling commute in the spring last year. Talk about deja vu. I was complaining about a long commute after a winter hiatus and here I am complaining again. I thought I was easing myself into my old cycling groove by foregoing the gym, but a long commute needs to be warmed into. I cycled to work (no gym) on Friday: 25km. The ride back was brutal with fierce winds all the way home. I almost decided to give up my cycling commute altogether and stick with the subway. On Sunday, I ended up cycling to the gym and really enjoyed the ride.

With a rainy forecast this week, I decided to capitalize on another day to try to cycle to work (no gym) on Monday. Mondays have me travelling all over the city, so I ended up clocking 36km. It doesn’t sound like that much… but coming from zero biking and a 2-week gym hiatus, I was wiped out when I came home. (Let’s not forget to mention I cycled home IN THE RAIN). Physically pooped, cold and wet, the last thing I wanted was a salad for dinner. I didn’t want to wait for a soup to defrost from the freezer, either. Instead I made a smoothie. Simple and nothing to document as I just whizzed together a frozen banana, frozen raspberries, maca, vanilla, flax seeds and unflavoured Sunwarrior protein powder. Oh, and some water. I am normally never satisfied with a smoothie as a meal, but this worked… after a warm bath and canning my oatmeal for the week, I slid into bed, exhausted.

I need to find more balance.

Still needing to eat, I really should plan my meals based on the weather forecast. The rest of the week has a rainy forecast and possible snow/hail today and/or tomorrow. No more cycling, that’s for sure… warm comforting meals may be in order, though. As such, I took this soup out from the freezer for some meals later this week.

I love unearthing gems from the freezer. I should do it more often. I often get wooed by fresh produce but I need to remind myself to keep things stress-free by eating from the freezer. This is a soup I have made a few times, too, and was lucky to have garden kale when I made this in the fall. I have used both shiitakes and oyster mushrooms with great results. Combining mushrooms and lentils, the earthy flavours mix well with the tangy vinegar and zippy garlic. It is during these dreary days that warm, comforting bowls of my favourite soups really help.

Do you keep a journal? If you do (or have a blog), do you ever re-read it?

Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s No Croutons Required for mushrooms.

Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup
Adapted from Radiance 4 Life

1 cup green lentils, rinsed
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup packed sliced mushrooms (shiitake and oyster mushrooms both work well)
1 cup slivered kale
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, pressed
salt, to taste

1. In a medium pot over high heat, combine the lentils, broth and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low to allow to simmer. Cook until the lentils are tender, around 30-45 minutes.

2. Once the lentils are cooked through, add the kale, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, oil, garlic and salt to taste. Cover until the kale is wilted. Serve hot.

Serves 3-4.

  1. Ooh, this recipe looks right up my alley, Janet! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. I’m so glad it’s not just me who plans “rainy day” food. I specifically saved leftover soup to eat tonight because I know it’s going to strom.

  3. This recipe looks perfect.

    I’m on the verge of rereading my Cedar City posts from last year, just to prove that warmth really did exist once.

  4. I agree with hannah, this recipe looks perfect! Can’t wait to try this out

  5. A definite perk of the blog is that it’s a pretty detailed account of my life – for better or worse. It’s always fun to look back. 🙂

  6. I laughed out loud when I saw your title Janet – you are too funny! I keep looking for lentil recipes but then continue to get sidetracked. I know where to go right away for ideas though! Maybe the next recipe….

    • I must admit I cannot take credit for the name…. It was Tess’ original recipe title and I loved it so much. 🙂 Tess has such a funny sense of humour which is why I just love reading her cookbooks like a novel. 🙂

  7. I think most of us who blog write at least some posts for ourselves – or at least I hope so, because I certainly do! The nice thing about humanity is we often relate to others’ thoughts and experiences, so even those posts written for yourself can resonate with others. That’s what I tell myself anyway 😛

    This looks like a great dish, and perfect for rain and cold.

    • Kari, you’ve hit it spot on. I hope others resonate with my words, even when I am not feeling 100% optimistic. Showing my flops and worries makes me human and life just isn’t always so rosy.

  8. Holy Shiitaki Janet! 😉
    Wish I had this right now 😉 Yummy… 😉
    Please bring over a bowl 😉 xo Ella

  9. …. and I just want to add thank you for your words. Sometimes we find a bit of clarity in these blah moments – or at least I am finding some… I think it’s just the nature of spring and rain… thank you… 😉 ditto 😉

  10. This looks perfect for the weather! You have me inspired to transform my shitakes and kale into something warming 🙂

    I can’t even imagine going from no biking to 36km. You my dear are a trooper!

  11. This looks fabulous with the lentil and shiitake combination. I would be happy to open my freezer and pull this out. 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

  12. […] – Asparagus Pecan Quinoa Salad with a Maple-Mustard Dressing – 15-Minute White Bean and Kale Soup – Holy Shiitake Lentil Soup – Ginger Lime Carrot Soup (with Sweet Potato Hummus) – Roasted Garlic Tofu Salad with Cilantro […]

  13. Would regular old brown lentils work? I also have small black ones and red….

  14. Thanks. I did see green lentils at the Farmer’s Market, so I bought them. Will be a nice change from the brown.

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