9 recipes you should try
Moroccan red lentil soup from Culinate: I’ve started eating soup for lunch just about every day. It’s easy to make in huge batches, it freezes well, and when it’s vegetarian, I don’t feel bad about having a great big bowl for lunch. Jen recommended this soup to me ages ago, and I made it for the first time at the beginning of the year. I’d never eaten or cooked lentils before, which is sort of a shock if you know my mom, but now I am a huge fan. I made a great big batch in my Dutch oven and babysat it as it simmered, stirring occasionally and reading for the rest of the time. I couldn’t find red lentils, and I made do with the spices — I recall throwing in some dry mustard sometime — but my point is that this soup is hard to mess up. It was so flavorful and warming, and it made me feel better in the middle of a work day. I need to make this one again soon.
Black bean soup from Smitten Kitchen: This black bean soup is super easy to make in the slow cooker, and the only major change I make to it is to puree it to death with my immersion blender, rather than only blending a portion of it. This recipe calls for dried beans, and the smallest bag JG found at the grocery store was 4 pounds (!). After 2 batches, I am halfway through it, but my freezer stash is diminishing, so I think I need to fire up the slow cooker.
15-minute creamy tomato soup from Serious Eats: I didn’t grow up eating tomato soup. My mom never served it to us or made it herself, so I dipped my grilled cheese sandwiches in ketchup. I know, the horror! Okay, fine, I still do it. Anyway! I never liked tomato soup until JG made this version. He sold it to me by explaining that it was basically a puree of tomatoes and garlic. And, yeah, what’s not to like? Exactly. I’m converted!
Minnesota wild rice and mushroom soup from The Kitchn: Lest the name of this recipe make you think this soup is austere and unfriendly, let me be the first to tell you that this vegetarian soup tastes like it has bacon in it. Oh, yes. The long process of caramelizing the mushrooms creates this deep, smoky flavor that completely surprised me. Leftovers warmed up like a dream, and JG was sad when he realized that I finished the remains. Caveats: next time, we plan on reducing the cream by half; and the cooking process takes a while, so we will probably have this on weekends, as opposed to weeknights. But really, this soup is a freaking miracle, and I want to eat it again right now.
Roasted mushroom torta with goat cheese and black beans from Serious Eats: Okay, so, this sandwich is kind of complicated to make in that it has a lot of components, but it is so worth it! The end result is something so interesting, tasty, and satisfying, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. We weren’t able to find bolillo rolls, but the Portuguese rolls at the grocery store bakery worked out fine. You just want a crusty outside and a soft inside to scoop out a bit. The biggest takeaway from this recipe was learning to make our own “refried” beans, which are not really fried at all. They’re just smashed up and cooked with an onion and a clove of garlic, so they are now part of our regular burrito fillings. We also think the cooked mushroom mixture and goat cheese would make an excellent crostini appetizer.
Baked eggs in mushrooms with zucchini ragout from Cara’s Cravings (guest post by Bridget from The Way the Cookie Crumbles): I know this sounds kind of weird, but it is so good. You make a tomato-y sauce with zucchini, and at the same time, cook mushroom caps in the oven. Then, you nestle the mushrooms in the sauce, crack eggs into them, and bake the whole deal. Later, melt cheese over the top, serve with crusty bread, and it is deliciousness. After 2 iterations, we haven’t quite figured out how to get the eggs to our desired degree of runniness, but that just means we need to try it again.
Chicken with tomato herb pan sauce from Annie’s Eats: This recipe might not sound like much, but the merits lie in its simplicity. We (meaning JG, of course) have made this a handful of times since I pinned and printed it, and the method has become a staple for weeknight dinners. Couscous and roasted broccoli help make a pretty plate, and there’s never quite enough of the yummy sauce.
Halal cart-style chicken and rice with white sauce from Serious Eats: Okay, this is another one that has a lot of components that I promise is worth your while. The dish is flavorful, complex, and completely comforting. I’m sure that eating it on the street, fresh from the food cart, would be better, but having it at home is pretty good, too.
Devil’s food cupcakes from Annie’s Eats: I made these cupcakes for a co-worker’s birthday, and I loved how light and moist the cake was. Usually, my cakes from scratch are too dense, but this one was awesome. This is not, however, my chocolate frosting of choice. I recommend the chocolate sour cream frosting from Smitten Kitchen, which is smooth and creamy and not too sweet.