Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Milled whole grains’ Category

Vegetable Lentil Soup

The past four days our family has been entertaining that unwelcomed guest….the “Ick!”  It all began with a horrendous sneeze on my way to work on Monday morning….it went downhill quickly from there.

My sweet Penni...she knows Mama doesn't feel well.

My sweet Penni…she knows Mama doesn’t feel well.

I will spare you the….details except to say, I had not felt as horrible as I did on, Tuesday, and Wednesday, for several (probably at least 15) years.  I did manage, however, to cook up a pot of vegetable soup, which I think gave me the edge to get back to work today (which by the way is Thursday…depending on what time I post this, it may say Friday…but my time zone still says it’s Thursday.)  Today, I feel like I normally do on the worst day of most colds I experience, so I’m feeling pretty well in comparison, but now, it’s migrating through the family. 😦

The infamous, Alton Brown

The infamous, Alton Brown

Anyway, since I know many are working through a lot of the “Ick” this flu season, I thought I’d post the recipe for my hearty vegetable soup.  I used Alton Brown’s Garden Vegetable Soup recipe as my base…then added/deleted/exchanged a few things….. (and, NO, I do not presume to cook better than the infamous Alton Brown, hahaha  that’s too funny!!  I changed things to fit the taste buds of my family.) Those items in italics are my changes.

Garden Vegetable Lentil Soup

My Rating…A+
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/garden-vegetable-soup-recipe.html …..with my changes
Yield:  6 to 8 servings

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)

Make sure you soak them to loosen all the dirt.

Make sure you soak them to loosen all the dirt.

2 tablespoons finely minced garlic

Lots and lots of garlic!!  Keeps away vampires, and knocks out the "Ick"

Lots and lots of garlic!! Keeps away vampires, and knocks out the “Ick”

I obviously cut the carrots before the garlic...LOL

I obviously cut the carrots before the garlic…LOL

Kosher salt & Pepper
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
1 can Garbanzo beans, drained, but not rinsed

I left the skins on since I was going for the "kill the Ick" factor.

I left the skins on since I was going for the “kill the Ick” factor.

2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts vegetable broth; Have extra on hand as needed
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes  (I used 1 can of tomato paste instead, because my people don’t seem to like chunky tomatoes….except me that is!)
1-2 cups corn
1 cup, Bob’s Red Mill dry split Lentils, and Vegetable Soup kernels

Bob's Red Mill
1/4 tsp Cumin
Red Pepper flakes to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice                                                                                                              For a creamier texture:   Boil 2 plus cups of chopped cauliflower in enough water to cover (don’t forget to add a touch of salt)…once softened, add cauliflower and water into food processor with 1 tbls of olive oil, and pulse until creamy.  Add to soup.


Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.


Add the carrots, garbanzo beans, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add to Veggie Soup

Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, dried lentils/vegetables, cumin, red pepper flakes, and pepper.Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

This soup is hearty, chewy, and delicious.  Keep an extra quart of Vegetable broth on hand to add as you go along, depending on how soupy you want it.  If you try it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…but if I were you…I’d tweak it to fit your family’s taste buds too!!!  Did it work to help me get well faster….well, I don’t think it hurt, but it’s definitely not a cure…just sayin’.

Hoping you stay healthy the rest of this “Ick” prevalent season!!  BTW, the beauty of adding the cauliflower is that you won’t have dairy products for creaminess, which, adds more congestion when you have the flu or a cold.

Waiting for Mama to come home.

Waiting for Mama to come home.

Thanks for visiting the farm today…next winter, my goal will be to have enough vegetables to can to make this soup from all my own, homegrown veggies!!!  Only the next couple of seasons, and this year’s garden will tell!!  I’m excited for this year’s garden!!!!

Your friend from Oregon,



Irish Soda Bread

I’m trying to “broaden my horizons,” “tantalize the taste buds,” “teach this (not so old) dog a new trick,” by trying new recipes. I’ve been “stuck in a rut” too long. Little by little over the past 2 years, I have tried this and that…some successful, and some not. Last night I tried my hand at making Irish Soda Bread, and a very hearty vegetable soup…doesn’t that sound like an oxymoron? A hearty vegetable soup? My husband was skeptical, but willing which is not common when it comes to vegetables, especially when I started adding more veggies than what was in the original bagged of dried, milled veggies. The difference here is that HE picked the milled vegetable soup mix…what’s a milled vegetable soup mix?…well…keep reading!!

In March we took a trek up to Milwaukie…that’s Milwaukie, Oregon…to this little place…

This is the home of Bob's Red Mill

This is the home of Bob’s Red Mill

….if you are at all interested in cooking things you have never even dreamed of, this is the place to go!! There are so many milled flours, milled dried beans and vegetables, milled nuts, milled…..everything! All the products are milled, right in Milwaukie, and the cafe / store is just a few blocks away (5000 SE International Way – Milwaukie, OR, 97222.) Your imagination can go CRAZY at Bob’s!! BTW, when I say milled….I’m talking the old way…with a milling stone, using rustic, whole grains!! You can also find their products in some grocery stores. Hey, seriously, I don’t get anything from plugging their great products…I’m just finding a world of wonderfulness…and I’M EXCITED!!

So what we came away with was a couple of flours, dried beans, nuts, and a vegetable soup mix (only includes the milled veggies, and grains – all spices, etc. are yours to add.)

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

This soup was incredibly hearty, and wonderful on our cold, rainy night.

Tony thought that this kind of vegetable soup looked good, because there was no sign of any fresh cut vegetables…little did he know that I had other plans..heh heh heh. As it cooks, the soup has the consistency of like a good hearty split pea soup. With Tony cringing, I added the fresh carrots, celery, onions, garlic, spinach and green beans, but I promised I would put it all in the blender and serve it in the fashion he was used to in the Spanish / French Basque kitchen of his childhood. My added ingredients also included chicken broth, salt, Creole spices, and thyme. It was really yummy, and the milled whole grains withing the dried contents was a surprisingly happy, chewy surprise!!

The Irish Soda Bread recipe also came in a freshly milled package of whole grain flours, and all necessary dried ingredients. I added water, oil, and egg.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

It was so fun to take these grains and make them bread.

I mixed this up using my hands....fun!

I mixed this up using my hands….fun!

Such a pretty little round!

Such a pretty little round!

Into the pie dish...

Into the pie dish…

Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, you cut a cross into the bread dough before baking.

Traditionally, cutting the cross into the bread dough was a way of blessing the bread, and then after it cooked….

All warm and crusty!!

All warm and crusty!!



…it gave a means for the symbolic breaking of the bread at the dinner table.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread...this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

Such a hearty soup, and a very dense bread…this meal will keep you warm all night, and the only meat product is in the chicken broth.

What I can say is that this combo was really, really hearty, warm, and satisfying on our cold, rainy, spring night…even the hubby thought so!! The best thing of all…Tony ate all of his vegetables!!

Love, love, love this place!!

Love, love, love this place!!

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