It was one of those months where we needed to get creative with what was in our pantry. It happens a few times a year where what we have needs to stretch out as long as possible - not necessarily always because we're short on cash, but especially when we have a new goal (like a trip or a larger purchase) that we want to aim toward. There are also times where we feel it a good idea to "clean out" our pantry by making sure we eat what we have to avoid spoil.
Usually, we purpose to not spend a penny during these times, relying on canned and frozen vegetables to accompany our other staples, but this time around, we splurged and were able to score some inexpensive, and fresh produce at the farmer's market!
I love soup and have never associated it with not having money, so it's always a welcome dish to me. However, it is also one of those things my husband does not anticipate to fill him long enough, so I always purpose to make it hearty. I, however, enjoy more brothy soups, so this was a great in-between. The lentils fill us, but the broth is so yummy, and perfect for some bread to soak up.
The fresh kale makes it even more enjoyable - I love the texture and colour that this soup has; the bright oranges and greens!
This soup is not only extremely inexpensive to make - it is also flexible (use beans or potaoes or whatever you have in the pantry/fridge instead of lentils) and amazingly easy to make.
Poor Man's Lentil Soup
What you need:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 TBSP homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning
2 tsp salt
sea salt to taste
1/2 cup dried lentils
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 bunch of kale, roughly chopped
Your favourite vegan sausage (optional)
What to do:
1. Cook carrot, celery and onion with 2 tsp salt in olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven
2. Add vegetable stock, water, garlic, seasoning and lentils
3. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked
4. Add kale and allow to turn a deep green and wilt a bit before stirring into the soup.
5. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!
(good in the fridge for 4 days)
What are some of your go-to meals when cleaning out your pantry?