Peas, potatoes, carrots in Olive oil and lemon sauce

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I had initially selected a date and chickpea rice recipe for today’s post. But I changed it in favor of this simple stew. This recipe in the book The Foods of the Greek Islands. The author mentions that on the islands, this is a classic vegetable stew made with wild fennel. The recipe had dill instead, but I skipped it since I didn’t have any at home. The stew can be a main dish with some feta cheese and bread on the side.

I served to my son when we was back from school and he didn’t like it at all. I was just done with cooking the stew and unfortunately, the vegetables weren’t done when I served it to him. I had to cook for some more time to get it right and it was perfect for our dinner. It had a mild fennel flavor infused with lemon and was very delicious.

The recipe uses a lot of olive oil, about 2/3 cups. I couldn’t bring myself to use that much so I reduced it a lot. The end result was still yummy. The stew needn’t be watery, though we prefer it that way.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
  • 3 large potatoes, diced into 1.5″ cubes
  • 4 cups green peas*
  • 3 carrots, diced into 1″ slices
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper

* Green beans is a substitute for the peas and so I used 2 cups peas and 2 cups beans.

Method:

  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in the sliced fennel and sauté until its soft.
  2. Add the potatoes, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add 1.5 cups of water/stock along with the peas and beans, carrots, crushed fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat. Cover and let the stew simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water or stock, remaining olive oil (the recipe used 1/3 cup, I used only 2 tablespoons), 1/4 cup chopped dill and all of the lemon juice. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and done. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup dill on top and serve warm with some bread and feta cheese on top.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

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Fakies – Greek Lentil soup

BM# 97: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Flavors of Greece

I was browsing the book Greek Revival, Cooking for life for recipes and stumbled upon this one. This is a very easy, basic traditional soup. The lentil is the main ingredient here, you can use brown or green. The choice of vegetables can be changed according to your preference. The author mentions that something sour- like lemon juice, yogurt or vinegar- is added to Greek lentil soups at the time of serving. It’s a good idea to leave these condiments on the table and let the guests choose for themselves.

The recipe is fairly basic. All it needs is onion, tomatoes and carrots. As I mentioned earlier, you can add vegetables of your choice too. I decided to stick with the recipe on the book. The flavor is simple and it’s easy to put together. I made it easier by cooking the lentils ahead. Serve with some bread to soak up the soup and it’s a healthy and delicious meal indeed!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, diced or 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry whole lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain yogurt for serving

Method:

  1. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and carrots. Once the onions are soft, add the tomatoes, ground coriander and cumin. Stir and cook for a cook of minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of water. Cover and bring it to a boil. Add the lentils. Bring it to a boil again, reduce heat. Cover and let it simmer for 1.5 hours until the beans are cooked. I cooked the beans separately in pressure cooker, so I reduced the cooking time to ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Add parsley and let it cook for another couple of minutes.
  3. Serve hot with bread. Add a dollop of yogurt or lemon juice to the soup at the time of serving.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#97

Githeri – Kenyan Bean and Maize dish

BM# 96: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Southern Hemisphere

Like I mentioned yesterday, I landed up in the Kenyan Masala tea recipe when I was checking out a recipe for Githeri. Githeri is a Kenyan dish with maize (white corn) and beans and a bunch of vegetables. The vegetables and even the kind of beans can be customized to your preference.

I read about the recipe first at Mireille’s blog and then visited Mayuri’s blog where Mireille had originally chosen the recipe from. This recipe uses white corn and not yellow corn. Mireille has suggested canned white hominy or Choclo Corn (South American white corn) for this. I used the canned white hominy for this.

I used black beans (that’s what I had today), but you can use black eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, butter beans or a mix of whatever kind you have in your pantry. The choice of vegetables are left to you. Mayuri mentions that for Starchy vegetables, potatoes, plantains, sweet potatoes, yuca are commonly used. The consistency can also be adjusted to your preference. Some of the recipes I looked at mentioned adding coconut milk or cream, but I didn’t add any today.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked separately
  • 1 cup white corn
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1″ piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or puréed)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • About 15 beans, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 1 cup of spinach, roughly chopped
  • Salt and water as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the beans overnight and cook it separately. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Sauté until the onions turn slightly brown. Add the tomatoes, salt and the spices. Mix well and cover and cook until the tomatoes are very soft and mushy.
  3. Add the beans, maize, diced potatoes, carrots and beans. Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pot and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are done.
  4. If needed, add 1 (or even more) cup of water if it is too thick. Add the spinach and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Taste test for salt and adjust if needed. Serve hot!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

Acini Di Pepe Spinach soup

While rearranging my pantry I came across a pack of acini di pepe pasta. It’s a tiny pasta that works well in soups and salads. The name apparently means “seeds of pepper”. This tiny pasta is also used for a cold salad called frog eye salad. I had initially bought it to make the salad but never ended up making it.

I used the recipe in the box itself for our lunch today. It’s been extremely windy and cold here for the past couple of days. A hot bowl of soup is perfect for this weather.

The recipe is very simple and the soup was ready in a matter of minutes. While searching the internet, I learned that this soup is called Italian wedding soup if you add meatballs to it. The name implies a marriage of flavors rather than being served at an actual wedding. But of course I didn’t tell my husband that part ;-) He had his lunch thinking he was having a part from a wedding meal!

Read on for the recipe. This post goes to Kids Delight event, hosted this month by PJ under the theme Winter warmers.

Recipe source: Ronzoni

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of broth/water
  • 1/2 cup acini di Pepe pasta, uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 10 oz pack of frozen spinach
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Method:

  1. Heat butter in a pan. Sauté onion and garlic until it turns light pink.
  2. Add water or broth and bring it to a boil. Add pasta, nutmeg , salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring in between. Pasta should be cooked by now. Take off the heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if preferred.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96