This, dear friends, is our life in one cast iron pot. 😀 *cue violins* Every cultural influence we have is somewhere in this dish– from Jamaican curry to New Orleans blackening seasoning to Italian oregano to Thai coconut. There’s a little bit of everything in here, from our heritage to our travels… including our recent herbivorous tendencies.
In all seriousness, this was an accidental masterpiece. I hadn’t a clue what to make for dinner and still had no clue after I started chopping up veggies. Once I decided it was all going in one pot, soup was the name of the game. But I had absolutely no flavor profile in mind. Enter chaos.
I quickly realized that vegetable broth tastes like, ummm, NOTHING, and so you can imaging what vegetable broth + water tastes like. Exactly. So in my haste to pull this off in what was then t-30 minutes before hubby got home and we had to stuff our faces and leave for church, I turned to the tried and true flavor boost: curry.
Turns out, just a couple tablespoons of the curry powder I made totally transformed this dish. Add in a cup of coconut milk to sweeten and thicken it up a little, and some fresh cilantro, this vegetable soup actually came out pretty good. Really good, actually. Thank you Jesus! *collective sigh of relief in Casa de Nelson*
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ lb green beans
- 2 white sweet potatoes
- ½ small kabocha squash
- 4 oz. baby portobello mushrooms
- ½ lb brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 2 teaspoons celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 3 tablespoons blackening seasoning
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ fresh ginger
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 quart of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup organic unsweetened coconut milk
- ¼ cup freshly cilantro
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Prep all your vegetables before you begin. Chop the potatoes (peeled), squash (peeled), bell pepper (seeded) and green beans (trimmed) into 1-inch chunks.
- Heat a large cast iron stock pot over medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom. Start by sauteeing the onions, garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms with salt and pepper. When the onions have slightly softened, add the potatoes and pumpkin with a little more salt and pepper.
- Add the remaining veggies and lentils, vegetable broth, water and flavorings (all except coconut milk, lime juice, and cilantro). Stir to combine, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes and lentils are tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and allow the soup to simmer another 10 minutes more.
- Just before serving, stir in the freshly chopped cilantro and lime juice. Serve hot in bowls and garnish with remaining fresh cilantro.