Sunday, July 17, 2011

Six-Shades-of-Red Soup

The making of this soup recipe couldn't have come at a better time. I had planned on making it because I happened to have all the ingredients in my pantry & fridge and some of them had to be used up soon, before they went bad. The day I had planned it for actually ended up being cloudy, dreary, and unseasonably cool- perfect for soup! Not to worry though, our summer heat is already coming back today and it will continue to get hotter every day throughout the week!
I can't take any credit for this recipe what-so-ever. I got it from Color Me Vegan and made very minimal adjustments. It is great just as it is! I did use some purple potatoes and I added a parsnip because I had it, I'm sure other veggie additions would be good too. I also changed the onion cooking instructions (the original recipe called for boiling it, but I am so used to sauteing onions for a soup base, that that's what I ended up doing)

Six-Shades-of-Red Soup
(Print Recipe)
Slightly adapted, from Color Me Vegan

1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic
10 cups water
2 cups red lentils
3 red (or purple) potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
2 red beets, peeled and diced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
1/4 to 1/2 cup red miso paste, depending on how strong it is (I used 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup vegetable juice (I used vegetable broth)
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot saute the onions in the oil, over medium heat, until opaque (5-7 minutes). Add the garlic and saute one more minute. Add the water, lentils, potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnip, red pepper flakes, and dill. Cover, raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
In a small bowl thoroughly combine the miso and juice. When the soup is done, remove from heat and stir in the miso mixture. Serve and garnish with dill.

Note: Do not skip using the miso- I taste tested the soup before the miso addition and it was much better after the miso was added.

Turn this
into this (with a few more ingredients)
I also recently made Larabars. There are recipes all over the internet for these 5 ingredient (or less) bars. I put this blueberry bliss recipe on a printable page, so that I can print it off and put it in my recipe binder (nerdy... I know, I know). I thought I'd share it with you incase you wanted to do the same thing (probably not, but maybe). It was so simple to make. I found the measurements here, and doubled it. There are also a bunch of other flavor combinations on the same page! If you are interested in peanut butter and jelly bars, there is recipe here. There is also a yummy looking cherry Larabar recipe here.

These are the 5 ingredients I used to make this yummy bar.
Almonds, Dried blueberries (I couldn't find any with no added sugar! Does anyone know where I could?), medjool dates, lemon zest, and almond extract.

Blueberry Bliss Bars
(Print Recipe)

1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup roughly chopped medjool dates
2/3 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
a few drops of almond extract (I think they would still be yummy without this, if you don't have it)

Put the blueberries, dates, lemon zest, and almond extract in a food processor and process until it becomes like a paste. Transfer to a medium bowl. Put the almonds in the food processor and process until finely chopped. Add to the date mixture. Use your fingers to knead the date mixture and almonds together. Roll out into a rectangle and cut into 4 or 5 bars. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge.

And no added... anything that's bad for you!
Nate and I have been excited about our tomatoes ripening in the garden. Soon we will have a plethora of fresh tomatoes. I went outside today and first saw this.
Then, much to my surprise, saw this!!
A green horned caterpillar!
They eat tomato plants! He blends in quite well with the plant, in fact, I almost touched him before I realized he was there. Neither Nate or I wanted to kill him, so he is now far down a hill, past our fence.
I read that they can be over three inches long. I think this one was pretty close!
I hope there aren't more where he came from. We will have to keep our eyes out for them! I need to start figuring out what I am going to do with all our tomatoes, because they are all going to be ripe at the same time, I just know it. Marinara sauce, tomato soup, lots of salads. Does anyone have any other ideas?


  1. Lisa inspired me to make Larabars today too. It's in my post for tomorrow morning. I see myself making more. They are so fast to make.

    That soup is beautiful! But with the heat in NH right now (and my intolerance to heat), my oven and I are in a fight.

    As of the caterpillar that's wild. I would have been afraid to hurt him.

  2. Soup looks good!!! Bars look yummy too!! I want to make them!! Caterpillar--wow!! They are crazy looking right? I would keep looking for them if I were you, b/c I heard they travel might find 4-5 on your tomato plant at a time. Eventhough I love insects/caterpillars, those even give me the creeps a little bit...I'm guessing Nate's the one that got it down?

  3. um, yes he broke the tomato branch off so he didn't have to touch it. My mom said that my grandmother used to pay them when they were kids, to find them on the tomato plants and run over them with their bikes. Haha.

  4. I really like the recipe for making those bars. very healthy..
    that photo of the caterpillar is insane, it's huge!

  5. those caterpillar's can devour a plant in no time. I don't grow tomatoes anymore due to poor soil and those things. I do have 12 jalapeno peppers that have been doing wonderful and to my horror I found 3 of those very same caterpillars on the plants on Sat., my husband found 9 on Sunday and I found a HUGE one yesterday. They do come in packs, keep an eye out.

  6. The blueberry bliss bars are a hit here!

    We haven't found anymore caterpillars yet, but they blend in so well! I keep looking though. They eat jalapeno plants too?! Crazy- and yes, they are HUGE.

  7. mariah, that soup and the larabars looks amazing! and your photographs are absolutely incredible. seriously. gorgeous.

    i've just gone out back to check for caterpillars on my tomatoes after reading this - so far the coast is clear for me!

  8. Thanks Jess! I'm glad you haven't found any caterpillars on your tomato plants. They are crazy big! I wouldn't want to be the one to pull them off either.