Eating in France

My current cooking inspiration is from The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals From Around the World by Lynn Alley.   We decided to travel to France for the evening, so I picked the recipe Smoky Potage Saint Germain to prep in the crock-pot (my additions and notes are in brackets below).

  • 1 cup dried split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 oz. dried assorted mushrooms
  • [3 dried chipotle chiles for smoky flavor and heat]
  • [2 small golden beets, diced]
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • [2 sweet red peppers, diced]
  • 3 small ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
  • Smoked salt to taste [we used the chipotles instead]

Put the split peas, water, mushrooms, chipotles, and beets in the slow cooker insert and turn on low heat.  Heat a skillet, add the oil, and sauté the onion and peppers over medium-high heat until browned.  Add the onion-pepper mixture, the tomatoes, and carrot to the split pea mixture.  Cover and cook for 6 hours.  If the peas are not tender, turn to high, and cook until tender, about 1 hour.  Right before you serve, add the spinach leaves and stir to wilt.

What a nice collection of flavors: smoky and spicy (from the chipotles), sweet (from the beets, carrots, and peppers), and green (from the spinach).  Even though the soup contained split peas, it was light and refreshing.  Plenty of leftovers, so I will warm it with whole grains for my lunch.  Yum.


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