Split Pea Potato Soup: #220 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Sometimes you just want a creamy, comforting soup to soothe your spirit. This one hits the spot and happens to be plant-based too for extra happiness. Hope you enjoy it when you need a warm, loving hug!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6 for a large pot)

1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
1 zucchini, chopped – $0.47
4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
2 tsp rosemary – $0.56
1/2 tsp sage – $0.14
1/2 cup bourbon – $2.40
1 1/2 cups green split peas – $0.99
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped – $0.75
6 1/2 cups water – free (or you could use vegetable broth)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes to start to soften the onion, then add in the zucchini, garlic, rosemary, and sage. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring often.

Add the bourbon and mix well, making sure to scrape any onion bits off the bottom of the pan. Let the alcohol burn off for about 3-4 minutes. Then add in the split peas, potatoes, and water, with about 1 tsp of salt to start.

Bring to a boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to medium and cook for about 30 minutes until the potatoes and split peas are soft and tender.

2. Pour the soup into a blender in batches, and return it to a different pot to simmer and stay warm. Puree it until it’s nice and smooth, but a few chunks are ok too if you like the texture. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm and get cozy.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Asparagus Leek Potato Soup: #181 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

In the spring and early summer, we can get fresh asparagus delivered in our farm box. One of the treats I like to make when this happens is a creamy asparagus and potato soup with leeks and sage. It’s a comforting, nourishing bowl of healing goodness.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total for a good pot of soup)

12 small Yukon Gold yellow potatoes – $1.80
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
2 leeks – $2.99
1 bunch/20 stalks of asparagus – $3.29
3 cups vegetable broth – free from boiling leftover kale stalks with some herbs
1/2 tsp sage – $0.14
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
2/3 cup plain soy milk – $0.25
Salt and pepper to taste
Roasted chickpea garnish – free leftovers

Directions

1. Prepare the ingredients: wash and chop all the vegetables, and boil the potatoes in a large pot of water for about 15 minutes until you can easily poke a fork through them. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped leeks and cook for about 5 minutes until they soften, then add the asparagus, potatoes, broth, and sage. Mix well and warm everything up to a boil. When the asparagus is bright green and hasn’t past that to dull green, take it off the heat.

3. Stir in the lemon and soy milk. Blend the whole mixture in batches in a blender until relatively smooth, then return to the pot. Stir and warm over medium heat, then serve warm with a garnish of roasted chickpeas or any other decorative snacks you have on hand.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Cauliflower Leek and Apple Soup: #113 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

On a brisk winter day there’s nothing like a warm bowl of creamy cauliflower soup to comfort and nourish. This one is vegan and inspired by French chef Rebecca Leffler, using tahini (made from sesame seeds) and coconut oil for the creaminess. 2/3 of the kids came back for seconds, so that’s as good an endorsement as any. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

1 tbsp coconut butter – $0.55
1 leek, chopped up (green parts too!) – $1.50
1 red onion, chopped up – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, chopped up – $0.15
1 cauliflower, chopped up – $2.49
1 apple, chopped up – $0.30
Water to cover vegetables – free
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions

1. Chop up all the veggies. In a large pan, heat the coconut butter over medium heat, then add the leeks, onions, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft, then add the cauliflower and apple and cook for a few minutes more.

2. Fill the pan with water to cover the veggies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat once it starts to boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you can stick a fork into the cauliflower pieces easily.

Using a slotted spoon to leave most of the liquid in the pan, scoop out the veggies into a blender (I had to do three blender batches), adding some of the tahini, olive oil, and just enough of the liquid to be able to blend it into a smooth soup.

Pour into a medium-sized pot and repeat with the remaining veggies.

3. Taste to adjust salt and pepper if needed. Serve as a warming appetizer to dinner, or as a lunch in itself. This soup reheats nicely too, if you have leftovers – just gently heat over the stove or microwave a bowl for yourself. So good!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (one kid wasn’t too thrilled but the rest of us loved it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Restorative Coconut Ginger Dal: #104 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, or if you just want an extra healing, nourishing meal for your body and spirit, this is the soup for you. You can leave out the chard if you prefer, but we had some on hand from our farm volunteering, so I threw it in. This dal freezes very well too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total for a large pot of soup)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 tbsp curry powder – $1.40
1 tbsp ginger – $0.70
2 cups red lentils – $1.69
6 cups water – free
5 medium potatoes, diced – $0.90
2 carrots, sliced – $0.46
2 celery stalks, sliced – $0.20
1 cup raisins – $1.00
1/4 cup tomato paste (1 small can) – $0.89
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk – $1.99
20 leaves of rainbow chard, chopped up – free from the farm
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to get soft, stirring frequently. Then add the curry powder and ginger, and mix to thoroughly coat the onions.

Once that’s all nicely combined, add the lentils (dry) to the pot and stir briefly to cover the lentils with the onion and spices. 

2. Add the water, potatoes, carrots, and celery next. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1/2 an hour until the lentils and veggies are soft. 

Then add the tomato paste, raisins, coconut milk, and salt/pepper to taste. Mix well.

3. With the cover removed, simmer for 10-20 more minutes over medium low heat. If you’re adding chopped greens, put them in here and let them wilt while the soup simmers.

You want the dal to be a nice thick soup, not watery at all. Taste for spices and serve hot. Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer. We like to freeze lunch portions in individual containers so they’re easy to grab from the freezer for school or work.

Enjoy, and feel better soon! 🙂

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Australian Pie Floaters: #83 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When I first heard about this recipe, I thought it was strange to put a meat pie in a puddle of pea soup. But it actually turns out to be fantastic, like adding a healthy gravy to moisten your pie. I prototyped this recipe with store-bought pies and soup, but of course you could make your own too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($10 total)

2 steak and stout pies (or other pot pies) – $6.99
1 package split pea soup – $1.99
6 oz sugar snap peas – $1.25

Directions

1. Heat the meat pies in the oven according to package directions (or get fancy and make your own homemade pies.)

2. Near the end of the pie baking time, heat the split pea soup in a small pot and add the sugar snap peas (or make your own split pea soup). 

3. Serve in individual bowls with the soup on the bottom and the pie placed gently on top. A nourishing winter dinner to warm hearts and bellies.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers (beef)
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 12/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Homemade Chicken Stock: #80 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Why throw out a perfectly good roast chicken carcass, when you can easily turn it into chicken stock for 5 or 6 future meals? It’s just a matter of throwing everything into a pot and letting it simmer for 6-12 hours. As a bonus, boiling the bones pulls out extra nutrients too.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 total)

roast chicken carcass – free
1 tbsp each oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper – $3.00
3 carrots, chopped – $0.46
1 onion, quartered – $0.50
Water – free

Directions

1. Pick the chicken meat off the carcass to use in other recipes, then put all the remaining skin and bones in a large pot and cover with water. 

2. Add the onion, carrots, and herbs. Set heat to medium, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 6-12 hours. You could also use a slow-cooker if you have one.

3. Let the stock cool enough to put it into containers, then strain out the liquid from the solid pieces, and store the liquid stock in the freezer. This recipe will fill 5-6 storage containers to add nutritious yumminess to any future recipes that call for chicken stock.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = 3+ hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lentils with Sausages: #77 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This is a tasty and nutritious Italian peasant dish, which you can serve for lunch or dinner with pasta or fresh bread. I used chicken sausages, fresh chopped spinach, and the secret ingredient to any lentil soup – celery! 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 total)

4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
2 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed – $1.69
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 carrot, chopped – $0.23
1 celery stick, chopped – $0.10
1 package chicken sausages, garlic and herb, sliced – $3.99
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce – $0.67
1 package baby spinach, chopped – 1.99
Salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to taste

Directions

1. Put one clove of garlic in a large pot with the lentils. Cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 25 minutes until lentils are mostly tender. No need to drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium high heat, put the olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, carrot, celery, and any spices to taste. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the sausages, then the tomato sauce. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and chopped spinach to the pan, taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then serve hot with pasta or fresh bread.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Zuppa di Fagioli (Italian Bean Soup): #74 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

There’s nothing like a bowl of good old-fashioned comfort food: beans, rice, veggies, and a delicious broth. It tastes like being in an Italian grandmother’s kitchen. Even better if you soak your own dry beans the night before!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total for a big pot of soup)

4 cups dry pinto or romano beans – $0.60
1/4 cup olive oil – $0.40
2 celery sticks, chopped – $0.18
4 garlic cloves, minced – $0.15
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or sage – we got this free from the garden
1 cup dry rice – $0.36
1 lb green beans, chopped – $2.99
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Soak the beans in plenty of water overnight. Rinse them in the morning, then cover with a good amount of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for a few hours until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just starts to brown, then add the celery and sage/basil. Let it cook for another 5 minutes to soften the celery. Add in the beans, green beans, rice, and enough water to make a thick soup (several cups). Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.

3. Check the soup during the 30 minutes to make sure there’s still enough water, then after the time is up, give it a good stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot and enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = 3+ hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (delicious but some of us get gassy)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Red Lentil Dal: #40 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

The first spoonful goes into our mouths and immediately all the muscles in our face and shoulders relax. There’s a dreamy “wow that’s good” look spreading around the table and we settle into our bowls as though they hold delicious, precious treasure. Yes, it’s dal night! 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($8 total)

1 lb red lentils – $1.69
6 cups water – free
½ 28 oz can crushed tomatoes – $0.80
1 tbsp canola or light olive oil – $0.10
1 chopped onion – $0.50
4 cloves chopped garlic – $0.15
1 tsp sesame seeds, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp mustard, 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt – $1.96
1 tbsp sugar – $0.06
1 bay leaf – $0.14
1 lemon, juiced – $0.20
1 bunch collard/kale leaves, chopped – $1.99
2 cups cooked basmati rice – $0.47

Directions

1. Rinse red lentils several times with cold water until water runs clear, then drain. In a medium pot, mix rinsed lentils with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are soft. Occasionally scoop any foam off the top of the water as it cooks. Turn off heat once lentils are cooked and set aside. 

2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly so garlic doesn’t burn. Next, add all the spices. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cooked lentils and lentil cooking water to the onions and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and tomatoes and cook for 5-10 more minutes. Taste and adjust salt or spices  if necessary.

3. Stir in chopped collards and rice, then remove from heat, or simmer until you’re ready to eat. Also ok to serve rice or naan on the side. Excellent as leftovers!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum possible score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Healing Adasi Lentil Soup: #22 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Lentils and turmeric are both superfoods, filled with nutritional benefits for the human body as well as our mental health. This is a comforting soup that mixes in some potato, onion, and sage for a lovely fall or winter dinner. I like to have it with some stir-fried greens on the side. It’s a dinner that makes my whole self smile.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total)

1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 tbsp canola oil – $0.20
2 garlic cloves, minced – $0.08
1 tbsp turmeric – $0.70
2 1/2 cups green lentils, washed – $1.69
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped – $0.54
1 tsp sage – $0.28
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tbsp butter or margarine – $0.62
1/2 lemon, squeezed – $0.20

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the canola oil on medium heat and add in the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until it turns translucent, then add the garlic and turmeric and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

2. Stir the washed lentils into the mix and cook for another 2-3 minutes, to coat the lentils in all the yummy spices, then stir in the chopped potatoes.

Add enough water to cover everything in the pot, bring to a boil, then put the lid on the pot, turn down to a medium-low simmer, and let it cook for about 30 minutes.

3. After everything is nice and tender, take a potato masher and mash up everything in the pot. Add the salt, pepper, sage, butter and lemon, and stir until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve and enjoy your healing creation!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18 (maximum score!)

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!