I always ask my colleagues and customers about the dishes they cook over the holidays. And, whether they are celebrating Easter or Passover or Navratri, their answers seem to transport them to their childhoods and the nostalgic holiday meals.
Last weekend, two of my kitchen colleagues at Cuvée prepared the staff meal and shared some dishes that they eat during lent or “Cuaresma” in their native country of Guatemala made from simple, inexpensive ingredients like lentils, potatoes and bread.
Not only were these dishes delicious and inexpensive, but they were also nutritious and great vegetarian options.
Lentil Soup with Carrots and Potatoes and Sofrito
One small bag of lentils (organic are best)
4 large carrots, peeled, scrubbed and rough chopped
2 medium size potatoes, scrubbed and diced
One green pepper or poblano (deveined and chopped) if you want some heat
Two tablespoons of chopped cilantro
Two tablespoons of chopped onion
Two cloves of minced garlic
One quart of water
One quart of Seasoned Fork garden stock
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric or a few threads of Saffron
1/4 of olive oil
2 or 3 bay leaves
Add olive oil to large dutch oven and heat. Add all ingredients except the lentils, vinegar, salt and pepper (added at the end) and sauté for 7 to 10 minutes. Then add lentils and stir. Add one quart of water and boil for one hour. Add the quart of garden stock in thirds, as needed. Once lentils are tender, add salt, pepper amd vinegar to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve in your favorite soup bowls. Serve with crusty bread and a salad. Try this with a bottle of North Fork Project by Pellegrini.