Saturday, 8 February 2014

Morocan Carrot and Lentil Soup

In February of 1998, I went to an Oscars party at the Hard Rock Cafe with some coworkers.  It was the first time I watched all the nominated films in advance.  I wanted to look like I knew what I was talking about.  When I ran out of people to watch movies with, I started seeing the films on my own.  What a revelation that was!  Movies could be enjoyed by yourself.  I was young and hadn't sorted out my own comfort or interests.  It was the beginning of something very special.  It helped that the films nominated that year were relatively mainstream: Titanic, Good Will Hunting, L.A. Confidential, As Good As It Gets and The Full Monty.
At our party, we filled out ballots, made acceptance speeches and ate great food.  Who could forget Cuba Gooding Jr winning that first award  and making one of my favourite acceptance speeches ever? I love how he starts slow and then the enthusiasm and realization of what just happened sinks in.  Or James Cameron making one of the (allegedly) worst acceptance speeches ever? I guess calling yourself "King of the World" is never a good idea.  On the drive home I rested my head on the shoulder of a cute guy and dreamt of a future together.  We dated, we married and the rest is history.  And somehow despite a busy household we have always found a way to keep seeing the movies and filling out the ballots at our annual Oscar party.
We're in the thick of watching the 2014 nominations this year and it's a nice excuse to get yourself out of the house in the middle of winter.  Last year Josilin started watching nominated films too, as long as they were PG13.  We have created a family tradition of sorts where we rate each movie after watching. My mind often wanders to what foods I can make to match each movie at our party.  That is a work in progress and perhaps a menu I can share here in a few weeks time.

Until then, we will keep ourselves distracted from the cold by running out to movie theatres and warming up with comforting soup. It's a quick and easy one, that meets so many Kale Eats standards: healthy, vegan, gluten free, make ahead, high in protein, plus low calorie.. the list goes on.  It's a winner in my books.

Moroccan Carrot and Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 leek, pale green and white parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup red lentils
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp group coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
4 cups vegetable broth

In a large pot heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once melted add leeks and saute until softened and translucent, about 5-10 min.  Add lentils, garlic and spices, stirring around until fragrant and lentils covered in oil and spices, about 2-3min.  Add vegetable broth, carrots and sweet potato and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer until vegetables are softened.  Allow to cool slightly and then puree with a blender in batches, until smooth.  Enjoy!

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