We're celebrating Meatless Mondays with balanced, delicious meal plans. We hope you'll join us -- whether you're vegetarian all the time or just here and there.
Today: Get out your fork and get out your spoon -- tonight you're putting the power of soup and salad to the test.
Togther, soup and salad accomplish what neither can do alone. Salad on its own can feel insubstantial and soup as a meal can leave you wanting something more. But put the two together and you have all the ingredients for a seamless weeknight meal that's both refreshing and belly-warming.
How do you know when a soup and a salad are meant to be together? Start with the looks -- tonight's recipes merge fresh greens with autumn's orange -- and then move on to the flavors and textures: tangy, peppery, and creamy. How else do you know it's meant to be? These recipes both take you less than an hour to make, are easily made vegan, and can feed a crowd. So get out your fork and get out your spoon -- tonight you're putting the power of soup and salad to the test.
Serves 6 to 8
2 pounds butternut squash
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
1 large onion
1 large sweet potato
5 to 6 large carrots
1 cup red lentils
8 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Harissa paste
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout (substitute garam masala if needed)
1/4 pound orzo
1 ounce roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 ounces blue cheese, goat cheese, or feta (omit for a vegan meal)
1 bunch watercress, arugula, or any microgreen
You probably have olive oil, salt, and pepper in your pantry, but if not, you’ll be needing those, too.
1. Peel and cube the butternut squash, drizzle it with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange clusters of sage on top (or sprinkle dried sage liberally). Bake at 450° F for 30 to 40 minutes until golden and caramelized.
2. Meanwhile, sweat the chopped onion in olive oil for 6 to 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Add all of the ingredients up to the orzo (be sure to peel and cube the sweet potatoes and carrots). Bring to a boil, then gently simmer for 25 minutes until potatoes, lentils, and carrots are soft.
3. Cook orzo according to the package instructions, drain, and let cool.
4. Return to the soup. Blitz with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor or a blender in batches. Taste for harissa, spice, salt, and pepper.
5. Your butternut squash should be ready by now. Combine it with the orzo and the pepitas. Add cheese (or if you’re not using cheese, a splash of balsamic vinegar) and greens.
6. Garnish soup with cilantro, Greek yogurt, and caraway seeds (if you have them on hand). Get out a spoon and a fork and alternate between your soup and salad until satisfied.
Photos by James Ransom