As I mentioned in a previous post, Learning to Be Flexible, my cooking club has been meeting for 10 years now. The general idea of our group is that meet monthly around a specific theme, each bringing a dish to share. That’s 120 get-togethers and a whole lot of recipes over the past decade. A few recipes have made more than one appearance, and many have made my list of go-to choices.
Bree’s Lentil-Tomato Soup is one of those. To someone like me who tends to eat a mostly a vegetarian diet (my recent over-consumption of bacon notwithstanding) lentils are an important food. They are a main ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, which happens to be my favorite, and are super-healthy. I even learned from Wikipedia that lentils are the third highest source of protein after soybeans and hemp. They are also high in fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and iron.
All are really good reasons to love lentils, but that’s not why I keep returning to Bree’s Lentil-Tomato Soup. It actually tastes really good. It also is very easy to make, and because lentils are inexpensive, it’s very economical. And, since I usually have lentils in my pantry I can make it whenever I get the urge.
I got the urge this week and in just a few minutes I was mixing the ingredients together in my slow cooker. When I got to the tomatoes in the recipe I reached for my freezer handle instead of the pantry door. The moment I had been waiting for was finally here. It was time to dip into my stash of oven dried tomatoes (10 Pounds of Tomatoes).
It felt so satisfying to drop those tomatoes in with the rest of the ingredients and not just because it was easier than opening up a can. It felt good to know that I had planned ahead for this moment and that the tomatoes had been nurtured under the same sun I had enjoyed this summer.
And the taste? I could tell the difference. It may have been the same recipe I’d been served by others and made myself many times before, but this time the tomatoes made the recipe.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Posted by Catherine Lanser at 10:02 PM