It's a crisp, cool day here in Eugene. Not really cold yet, but enough brisk to make me wear long sleeves. As I was out and about I was enjoying the first flames on the maple trees, noticing the cyclists around town are a lot more bundled up, entertained by raucous crows and I smelled my first wisp of wood stove smoke. I just love the changing of the seasons.
Indoors, I've been happy to cozy up and knit, and inspired to make soup! Today's soup is a vegetarian lentil/pea/grain soup. I've been experimenting with adding more vegetarian dishes into my diet because I know they're good for me. I didn't grow up cooking this way so it's been an adventure to see what I can eat that's vegetarian and healthy. My local market has bulk item foods and one of the things they have is called soup mix. It's about equal parts red lentils, brown lentils, green split peas, yellow split peas, barley and maybe some other grain and a tiny bit of those soup alphabets thrown in. I cook it like I would lentil soup.
2.5 cups "soup mix" (lentils, peas, grains)
1 can vegetarian vegetable broth
6 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes - 14.5 oz (I used one that was fire roasted which gave it a bit of a smoky flavor)
1 large or 5 baby potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
3 bay leaves
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
I drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of a large soup pot, and add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is translucent and the house smells wonderful. Then add the vegetable broth, water, vegetables, tomatoes and soup mix and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour. At the end of the hour check to see that all is well cooked. If it needs more cooking continue to simmer for another half hour and check again. When the lentils/peas/grains are done to your liking, add in seasoning. I use about 1/2 tsp of Mrs. Dash original, 1 tsp of "italian seasoning" (rosemary, oregano and other herbs). I don't salt mine but you may want to add salt and pepper to yours.
This stuff freezes really well. I love to make big pots of soup and freeze part of it. Then when things get hectic I can just take out a little frozen container of happy and warm myself up with something that's nourishing and healthy.
But it's not all cooking over here at the house of Bonnet. I've also been knitting. I've been swatching for some new, warm, coziness. The red is my handspun, it's a 3-ply Romeldale yarn which I talked about here and here. I've got quite a bit of this, but I'm not sure if it's enough for a sweater. So my plan is to make a vest, and then if I've got enough left over, I'll add sleeves onto it. It's a fairly bulky 3-ply so this should knit up quickly. I think I'm going to love the way the color will be subtly variegated.
And the blue is a beautiful 80% Polwarth / 20% silk yarn from Textiles a Mano. I'm planning a gansey out of this yarn. I'm not going to knit it super tight like a traditional gansey because, here in mild Eugene, Oregon, I don't need to keep out wind and weather, and I'd rather have a softer hand with the finished sweater. The yarn is also lighter and airier than the typical worsted you would use for a traditional gansey.
I'm also working on a super secret project. I can't say much about it right now, but I am using these two yarns also from Textiles a Mano. It's a laceweight merino called Lanita, and I'm working with one strand of each color. Yuck? Nope, look how surprising that looks!
Well, that's all the autumn goodness for today here at the house of Bonnet. I hope you're full of autumn goodness too.