I don’t want to jinx it, but in less than 2 weeks we *should* be moved into our new apartment in Brooklyn.
But for now, we’re still on an Airbnb odyssey. After a month in an East Village walkup, we’re at another Airbnb on the edge of Williamsburg and Buswhick (in Brooklyn).
The East Village place was cozy, and the location gave us the kind of New York experience I used to imagine—running down to the bodega for a bag of rice, getting to know the baristas at the coffee shop on the corner, walking the dog in Washington Square Park and stopping for a bagel. That kind of thing.
This new place in Brooklyn is exactly what I associate with the word “bohemian.” It’s one big room in an industrial building across the street from a tortilla factory, with exposed brick walls (painted white of course), mismatched furniture, lots of mirrors and lamps, and even a hammock hanging from the ceiling. And, sort of like in Kate & Leopold (anyone?), you can visit the neighbors by stepping out the window and onto the roof deck. At night we can actually hear jazz wafting in from next door. And the morning light that comes in through these windows. Woof.
As picturesque and “New York” as this is, all of these places have been a little lacking when it comes to kitchen space and cooking equipment. In the bohemian loft for example, I’m working with a toaster oven and a 2-burner hot plate, and—here’s the fun part—you can’t run them at the same time or you’ll blow the breaker.
But I can still make really simple things, like soup. 🙂
If you follow me on the Insta, you may have noticed me talking about plant-based blogger Jessica Murnane’s book One Part Plant. (I also listed it as one of my go-to vegan and vegetable-centric cookbooks in a post from a couple weeks ago.)
I’ve been listening to Jessica’s podcast (One Part Podcast) for years, so I was really excited when Jessica put out a call last month inviting people from her email list to join her promotion team for her cookbook. It’s all bloggers and publicists and really cool people. We’ve been hopping on calls and promoting the idea of One Part Plant as a movement. Rather than trying to convince the world to go 100% vegan, OPP is all about eating one plant-based meal per day:
What does One Part Plant (OPP) mean? OPP is an eating philosophy; it means at least one meal a day is made up of real, whole, plant-based foods. One. OPP is not some crazy diet with a list of forbidden foods you can never eat again, and it doesn’t require you to join a culty food tribe with a million rules. OPP is about making plants the star of the show for one meal a day. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner—you pick. Once a day you’ll create, pick up, or order in (no shame in that) a plant-based meal.
(By the way, if you’re interested in what it’s like to publish a cookbook, her new podcast The Cookbook Deal is where it’s at.)
On Sunday morning, after a night with our friend Cuervo, Jessica’s red lentil soup sounded like the perfect recovery meal, and luckily the recipe is simple enough to manage with just my janky hot-plate setup…meaning you can probably handle this in your kitchen.
You just sauté onion in olive or coconut oil, then add garlic (mine was VERY roughly chopped as we only have a steak knife), plus 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, cumin, some soy sauce/tamari, a tomato, red lentils, and vegetable broth.
Shocker: I didn’t make it exactly according to the recipe, but it’s kind of designed that way. It’s the perfect soup for using up odds and ends you don’t know what else to do with. I ended up adding in a small yellow potato and using slightly less lentils, because that’s what I had.
The soup turned out SO delicious and comforting. Perfect with a big hunk of sourdough.
Tomorrow I’m headed to the book launch party for OPP in Williamsburg where I will meet Jessica in person, plus hear from some other food idols of mine: Julia Turshen (a well-known cookbook co-author who just launched her first book—I basically want to be the vegan version of her) and Sarah Britton of My New Roots. If you’re going to be there let’s meet up!
All the recipe customizations I made:
- I used the olive oil because that’s what we had on hand
- The potato isn’t in the recipe in the book, I just threw it in because it was looking sad on the counter. Plus, I thought it would bulk up the soup since I didn’t have quite enough lentils.
- I only had about ¾ cup lentils—it worked out fine!
- I used all broth (no water), so I decreased the tamari to 1 teaspoon to keep it from getting too salty
- My tomato was extra juicy, so I didn’t need as much broth/water
- I started with 2 cups broth and added more as it thickened. I got up to around 3 cups.
- Olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 carrot sticks, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 medium yellow potato, diced**
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water, or a combination of both
- 1 cup red lentils
- Juice of 1small lemon
- Pepper (to taste)
- Sea salt (to taste)
- In a medium pot, heat oil on medium heat. Sauté the onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the carrots, celery, potato, tomato, cumin, and tamari or soy sauce. Cook with the lid off and stir every few minutes until the veggies soften, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse and sort the lentils (check for rocks), then add them to the soup along with about 2 cups of broth. Put on the lid and bring to a simmer.
- Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding broth as the soup thickens. When the lentils are smooshy and the veggies are cooked through, it’s done!
- Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, a little at a time, to taste.
- Taste for salt and add if needed.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a hunk of bread. 🙂 🙂