Celery, Rice, Lentil and Vegan Meatball Soup — and other discoveries

The past six days have been very busy, so no organized time to blog about it.  However, tonight I am able to share with you a new soup and a few other tidbits.

New Soup

Once again I acknowledge my debt to Marcella.  Her Rice and Celery Soup on page 62 of The Classic Italian Cookbook was the inspiration for tonight’s dinner.  Furthermore, her menu suggestions at the end of the recipe mentioned following the soup with a dish of meatballs, and as luck would have it, I had just purchased a new package of a vegan version made from sprouted tofu, which I was eager to try.  Finally, since I had some leftover cooked black lentils and was planning on serving that somehow with rice soon, I decided to put them all together in this soup.

As Adam (at the health food store had predicted) the texture and flavor of the meatballs were astonishingly good, and they were a little bit salty, so I adjusted the salt downward in the rest of the soup accordingly.  The dish was terrific.

celery rice lentil soup recipe

sprouted soybean meatballs

sprouted soybean meatballs pkg

celery rice vegan meatball soup

soup bowl closeup

I was pretty clear on the wine I wanted to serve with it, a Vadiaperti Coda di Volpe from Campania.  As I had hoped, it went very well.

coda di volpe

Other Discoveries

Late last week we went shopping for an engagement gift for the son of our close friends.  Barbara and I don’t go to malls often, so after finding what we wanted at Crate & Barrel, and then wandering around the mall until we were tired, we ate a good launch at Wasabi in the food court.  The dishes were inventive, very good, and quite a good value.  We had several kinds of vegetable sushi dishes and a top-notch miso soup.

The only noteworthy photo was this chocolate bar, which I would title “Necessities from The Natick Mall”:

agave quinoa sesame choc

The last entry here relates to our entertaining over the weekend, and I put it here mostly to remind myself what we did, for future use.  It’s less exciting without pictures, but you may find it interesting anyway.

We had friends from MD and NY staying over for the weekend and had good fun making various meals, beginning with pizza night on Friday.

with June at pizza oven_Jan 2014

Saturday’s dinner was centered around a vegetable soup with mushrooms, and an Eggplant Parmigiana that Barbara baked in the Mario Batali lasagne pan.  I also made a big dish of marinated mushrooms with lemon and parsley for openers.

Then I learned that my very good friend Ron (for 54 years, but we don’t see each other that often nowadays) does not like mushrooms OR eggplant, so I had to come up with some alternatives.  Fortunately, I had already made some Chana Dal for him to try, due to their low glycemic content, so that was his soup.  And for dinner the three guys did the preparation of a fine set of tapas dishes to open the dinner.  Here’s the list:

  • dolmas from a can
  • mixed olives
  • pieces of Sottocenere al Tartufo cheese
  • a can of Galician cockles
  • baby artichoke hearts
  • leftover cippolini onions with orange-balsamic glaze
  • radishes
  • kohlrabi

We had special fun with the kohlrabi.  It turns out that no one had tried it before, but Ron remembered that his mother used to make it with a cream sauce from their Hungarian culinary roots.  I was able to make a dish of it and serve it that way, as well as to have a few slices raw.  Best of all was the display of assorted dishes with the array of colors and flavors sparkling on different size, shape and color plates from the cabinet.

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