No it’s not still winter. In case you’re still wondering, my last two recipes have been directed almost exclusively to winter… but it’s actually quite summery in Berlin. The only problem is the masses of dried food I have around the pantry, and the obsession I will continue to have for sweet potatoes year-round. This recipe was primarily built from being lazy and rooting around in the kitchen for something (anything!) to eat that could be filling without making me feel sick to my stomach. I settled for something easy and comforting. I hope it makes you feel as warm and content as it did me.
- 1/2 cup of green lentils
- 1ish carrots, chopped
- 1/2 sweet potato, chopped small
- 1 medium onion, very VERY roughly cut (big pieces)
- Greens lying around the kitchen (snow peas, spinach, etc.)
- Halloumi/Tofu/Meat/Protein of some sort
- Salt/Pepper to season
- Cayenne Pepper
- Take a pot and fill it with water – set it to boil
- Throw in lentils, carrots, onion, and sweet potato- seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. It seems weird to put in weird and misshapen pieces of onion in – but trust me: it makes a delicious and awesome difference. I even left the tail ends of my onions (obviously without skin) in, just so the onion flavour could soak into every inch of this meal.
- Turn down the heat to medium-low, and prep your greens/leftover food. When you are probably 5/6 done with the lentils: toss in the extra greens, and protein base you have decided on using. For me, the halloumi and tofu were a perfect mixture and gave me some great flavours that I wasn’t expecting out of this especially simple meal.
- Depending on how you want to eat it: there are a few options at this point. I split my meal in half at this point and spooned out half into a strainer to prepare for lunch with salsa, etc. This part was fine… I did end up adding nutmeg, turmeric and cayenne too: but it ended up being slightly dry and cold at work (Remember: no microwave…). I kept the other half in, and made it into a soup-like meal, and added in large pinches of nutmeg, turmeric, and cayenne pepper in this part. The slightly soupy texture, along with some extra feta cheese made it perfectly comforting and everything my week needed.
So you can see why it’s a basic recipe. The idea behind it is based primarily in making food easy, accessible and possible for everyone. Anyone can boil water and throw pieces of food in and hope desperately that you cannot burn water. But I think the part that made this especially delicious was the memories. It reminded me of winters as a child eating thick and wonderful minestrone concoctions and slow-cooker chicken soups. It may be summer in Berlin, but there’s something incredibly lovely about cooking winter recipes that just make you want to smile with every mouthful. Let me know if you decide to cook it/made any adjustments. I would probably add some different ingredients now too – like cilantro or coriander (maybe even some actual potatoes or noodles).