I seem to be on a soup roll lately, so here is a most tasty vegetarian soup, and a Recipe review.  Soup just seems to soothe my soul, I could eat it everyday!
Last week I went to our local cafe/bistro/bookstore.  I was delighted to discover, all of their soups are gluten free, their salads are super fresh, and they even offer a few gluten free baked goods. It is so heartwarming to finally see more and more restaurants offering gluten free food.
The soup and salad I had was so delicious.... it inspired me to come home and make my own.   If ever you get to spend the day in Sooke, British Columbia, check out the Reading Room Cafe. It is located in the heart of Sooke, at Evergreen Centre.   Have a nice lunch, then meander through the open doors to check out some great book selections.  A lovely way to spend the day.  Wished I remembered my camera!
This is the only time of year we can get fresh okra - it is a small window, so when I see it, I make sure to buy it fresh.  Zucchini would also be a good option in this soup.
3 1/2 cups homemade Vegetable broth
2 tsp. Seasoning Blend - I used this one, or use your favorite
Olive oil
1 diced onion
one 28 oz. can of Whole tomatoes, sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces - include the juice
2 large carrots diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
6 fresh okra, trimmed then sliced into chunks
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 large Bay leaf
Juice of a quarter of a lemon - or half if you want more lemon flavor
Heat up a dutch oven on low medium heat with a good drizzle of olive oil.  To the pan add in the diced onions, celery, and okra.

Saute for about 6-7 minutes, then add in the carrots, cumin, seasoning blend, salt, pepper and bay leaf, continuing to saute another 5 minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes and juice, stirring to combine.  Bring to a simmer.

Then add in the vegetable stock, lid on, and bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat to low, and simmer, cooking another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, measure out the lima beans and corn, into a bowl, allowing to defrost until the vegetables have finished cooking.  After 20 minutes, check for seasonings, and add in the lima beans, lemon juice, and corn just to heat through.  Serve hot, with a fresh salad.

With our frosty evenings - still in April!, this lentil curry soup was a must have!  Normally, I never use a recipe when I cook.  In fact, when I first began blogging, it took a lot of concentrated effort to remember to use measurements.   And soup is no exception.  Also, if ever I do use a recipe of any kind, I always change it. Then the other day I saw this recipe for this most delicious soup.  I realized I had now looked at this recipe 4 or 5 times.  It intrigued me...I had to make it, and I made it exactly as written.  A rare day indeed!  The only thing I did do to Chef Fatima`s recipe was to cut the amount in half - it made a lot of soup!
If you like cilantro, coconut milk, lime, homemade stock (vegetable or chicken), and lentils ....... you will love this!  Please check Islandchef.ca for this great recipe....thanks Chef Fatima!

Ina Gawne

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April 27, 2011