This morning, Seattle summer feels quite like fall– cool, misty, and grey. But we’ve had a glorious run of sunny and warm-to-hot days lately. I am grateful for Seattle’s temperate summers, especially when compared to the 70+ days of 100+-degree weather in Texas and the humidity, heat, and hurricanes on the east coast.
However, when the mercury rises above about 75, I become a huge wimp when it comes to cooking. I have been known to subsist on cucumber sandwiches and frozen grapes for days at a time during heat waves– not good. So I’m building an arsenal of Healthy Meals I Won’t Melt Cooking. Salads and sandwiches count, but I’m especially proud of my latest vegan soup, good served hot or cold.
Carrot & Lentil Summer Soup
1 onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
6 cups water
3 cups of carrot slices (3-4 large carrots)
1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt & pepper
Normally, when I start a soup, I sautee onions. Because I was such a wimp, I started to sautee the onions and the mustard seed together, then deemed it “TOO HOT,” so I poured in the water for the soup, gave a quick stir, threw on the pot lid, and stepped away from the stove.
After reading a few pages in front of a fan, I peeked in again, saw the water was boiling, and dumped in the carrots. Again, I put the lid back on and retreated. After about 5 minutes, I returned to toss in the lentils, cumin, and ginger.
10 minutes later, I returned to turn off the burner. More stirring. I let the pot cool for another 15 minutes, then went at it with my stick blender until the soup was thick, with a few chunks. To reward myself for proximity to a warm pot of soup, I
clambered into the freezer added 1/2 cup of frozen corn to the soup, dashed salt and pepper, stirred, and left the kitchen.
After about 20 minutes, the soup was cooled down enough for me to taste, and the kitchen was back to pre-cooking temps.
You can serve this hot or cold, depending on the temperature outside.