It is often said that the secret of a great soup is great stock; this flavorful lentil soup with rosemary is no exception.
After Thanksgiving, I used my turkey carcass to make a huge pot of turkey stock from which I was able to freeze about 15 quarts. Having homemade stock in the freezer is great for when I want to make soup. In this cold weather, it’s pretty often.
Making stock is quite simple. Here is how I make chicken stock (I made the turkey stock pretty much the same way). If you don’t have homemade stock on hand, use organic store bought chicken or vegetable stock (or you can use water, though the soup won’t be as rich).
I love lentils because they are high in protein and they cook so quickly; this easy lentil soup comes together in under an hour, and it makes a great appetizer, or a nice lunch or light dinner with crackers or a slice of homemade bread and a salad.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I am a big fan of Food52. I regularly enter recipe contests over there, and I even won a contest with my turkey pho recipe back in November…
Last week, for their “Best Couscous” contest, I made this couscous recipe and I just loved the combination of the spices with the raisins. So I combined them again in this muesli recipe, with the addition of cashews and coconut milk, and I was really pleased with the result.
Oats are a very nutritious food: they are high in fiber, magnesium, and B-vitamins. This spiced muesli recipe is started in the evening so that the oats can soak overnight; this makes them more digestible and allows the nutrients to be better absorbed by your body.
Oats contain much less gluten than wheat, but if you prefer or need to avoid grains with gluten, you can look for gluten free oats online (they are also available at some natural foods stores). If you want to make a completely raw version with no grains, you could try this with ground flax seeds and some unsweetened organic coconut instead of the oats. Soaked chia seeds could also be used.
I don’t personally think this needs any additional sweetener, but if you want to add a teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup to your serving, go right ahead. If you don’t like coconut milk, you can serve this with raw or organic milk, nut milk, or your favorite milk alternative.
Spiced Muesli with Raisins and Cashews
Makes 2-3 servings
*1 cup organic rolled oats (not quick oats)
*1 cup filtered water
*1/4 cup raisins
*1/4 cup chopped raw cashews
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*pinch ground cardamom-optional
*pinch ground ginger-optional
*pinch ground coriander-optional
organic whole coconut milk for serving
Mix all ingredients except coconut milk together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Spoon muesli into serving bowl and top with 1-2 Tb. (or more if you like) coconut milk before serving.
This muesli recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free! Make sure to check out the link for more “fabulous recipes made healthier”!
Kumquats are a citrus fruit available in the winter months. They look like an orange, only they are much smaller and they are oval-shaped. Like other citrus fruits, they are quite high in vitamin C. Kumquats are pretty sour, but their edible peel is sweet.
Kumquats are not easy to find where I live; when I found them, I made the purchase without question (I imagine they are easier to come by in warmer climes).
I had no idea what I would do with my little beauties until I saw the recipe for Kumquat Champagne Confit in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Herzberg and Zoe Francois.
It was perfect timing, really, since I had a whole lot of champagne left over from New Year’s Eve. I used the remainder of an open bottle (about 3 1/2 cups) in this marmalade. While the Artisan Bread recipe is fairly simple, I complicated mine a bit (in a good way, I think), by using honey instead of sugar, as well as lots of sweet dried fruits and herbs/spices.
I’m calling it a marmalade not because I like marmalade (I generally don’t), but because it’s a sweetened preparation of citrus that includes the peel. Whether you usually like marmalade or not, I urge you to give this one a try.
This recipe makes just over a pint. I love it spread onto organic uncured ham slices, which I roll up and eat as a quick lunch with a salad. It’s also delicious spooned over plain Greek yogurt (and ice cream too, I imagine), as well as with goat cheese and rice crackers…
…and since the recipe inspiration came from a bread book, I am sure it’s great on bread, too.
If you don’t have any leftover champagne that you are willing to use, I see no reason why this wouldn’t work with sparkling apple cider (or another type of juice); it will be quite a bit sweeter, though, so you may want to reduce the amount of dried fruits. You could also use water for part of the liquid…
Kumquat Marmalade with Champagne and Figs
3 1/2 cups champagne
1/2 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods
20 dried figs, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tb. rose water- optional
In a medium-sized pot on the stove, bring the champagne and honey to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the cinnamon sticks and the cardamom pods.
Roughly chop the kumquats and remove as many seeds as possible. You’ll be able to remove more later, but if a few remain, they won’t harm you. Add to the champagne and honey. Add the dried fruits and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the kumquats and dried fruits are very tender and the mixture is fairly thick. Remove and discard any visible remaining kumquat seeds, as well as the cinnamon sticks.
Turn off the heat and allow the marmalade to cool. Process in a high speed blender or food processor to break up any large chucks of fruit and to pulverize the cardamon. Return to the pot and add the vanilla and optional rose water. Mix well, and then spoon into glass jar(s). Store in the refrigerator; it will keep for a week or two.
More Yummy Kumquat Recipes:
Candied Kumquats with Vanilla and Cinnamon from Caviar and Codfish
Camembert and Kumquat Chutney Toasts from Food Blogga
Kumquat Salsa from Simply Recipes
This kumquat marmalade recipe is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging.
WHB was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and it is currently managed by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything. Haalo is the host this week, as well!