Happy Monday, everyone!
I hope you had a great weekend! This is my first full 5-day work week–man, am I going to miss those 3-day weekends! It was pretty busy around these parts, with Virginia Tech’s first home game and the season opener for the 49ers. Welcome to football season, I suppose!
It was pretty hilarious to be finishing up my run Saturday morning and keep having to dodge the walking/biking to tailgate crowd, especially near the end. And that almost every runner on the trail was wearing Tech gear too. I wonder if I’ll get used to this by the time we leave!
The weather was also absolutely gorgeous and even though the temps are still in the mid-80s during the day, the nights are cooling down so much that fall is definitely in the air. So, in honor/in hope of crisp autumn days, I decided to make a big batch of lentil soup to get me through work week lunches and to use up the rest of the CSA box.
Jeff wasn’t too keen on lentil soup this early in the year (go figure) which was actually fine with me–no one to complain about a completely vegetarian/vegan soup! This soup also has a TON of smoked paprika, my favorite spice in the whole wide world. It adds that bacon-y flavor that vegetarian bean soups are (obiviously!) missing. I also added some habanero salt my sister + brother-in-law had gotten us for Christmas last year for an added kick. If you don’t have any in your pantry, regular salt + a little cayenne pepper should do the trick.
Here’s to short, action-packed weekends and eating yummy food to get through the work week!
Bok Choy Lentil Soup
14 ounces dry lentils, rinsed
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
32 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 anaheim pepper, chopped
1 head boy choy, trimmed and separated
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon habanero salt (or 1 teaspoon regular salt + 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium heat.
Add celery, onion, and garlic and saute, stirring often, until soft and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
Pour in vegetable broth and water, and stir in lentils.
Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook until lentils are soft, about 1-2 hours, depending on age of lentils.
Once the lentils are soft, heat more olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add zucchini and peppers and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add bok choy and cook until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Pour the zucchini, peppers, and bok choy into the lentil soup, deglazing the frying pan with a little water.
Season with smoked paprika, habanero salt (or substitute, see ingredient list), and black pepper.
Continue to cook on low for another 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.
Time: 2 hours