I hope you enjoy the food!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lentil, Barley and Mushroom Soup & "Leftovers"

Dear Readers it was a raining sunday afternoon,  - the house was quiet, The M.O.T.H. and "the Darlings" were out playing rugby (in the rain??) what should I do?

Do some general tidying up, the ironing, read a book???  No...... cook of course!!!  So I put on Julie and Julia and set to in the kitchen!!!  I am in the zone now - channeling Julia or I think perhaps Julie (I don't think I could ever cook like Julia Child - far too buttery for me - no Julie is more me - she set me off on this little blogging adventure!)

Mmmm what could I make?  I had made another batch of Double Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday - so we didn't need anything sweet.  I wasn't "cooking" dinner tonight - we were having what is lovingly referred to in this house as "scraps" for dinner.  I was tired of making pizzas - or so I told them, but that was just a ruse to get them into action - I think they are all lulled into this we don't have to cook - you know the old "why buy milk when you have a cow mentality".  So what shall I make????

I know soup!!  Always handy to have some soup in the fridge - lunches during the week etc..

So off I went, pots and pans start coming out - all the while listening to the movie.  I think to myself will this ever amount to anything more than me rambling along??

Anyway I digress the reason you come to visit is to hear about the food so here is the recipe for a lovely healthy (cheap - probably around $10 to make) soup.

Lentil, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Serves 4

1 tbs olive oil
2 medium leeks, trimmed (whites only) - halved, thinly sliced and washed
250g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 x 410g cans chopped tomatoes with basil & garlic
3/4 red lentils
1/3 pearl barley

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and leeks, and cook stirring for around 4 minutes, or until softened.

Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, barley and 5 cups of cold water.

Cover and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for around 40 minutes, or until the barley is tender.  Make sure you stir occasionally to prevent the lentils and barley from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  The soup will thicken on standing.

As you know Sunday night is the night to use up the "scraps" - we had some of the seasoned yoghurt left over from the Salmon on Friday night  - so a dollop of that was added to the soup!!

Now there was only one problem - "The Darlings" had come home by now, and were chanting "Pizza Night, Pizza Night" - well I hate to be the one to rain on their parade - but I gently told them - no Pizza tonight - yummy vegetable soup instead!!!  If looks could kill!!!  Unbeknownst to me they had invited the neighbour to dinner - for the legendary Pizza Night!!! oops - no pizza makings to be had in the house - what is the next best thing???

Quesadillas!!!  The old Mexican Toasted Cheese Sandwich!!  I had plenty of tortillas, I had some left over meat from the Red Enchiladas the other night, a BBQ chook, sour cream, avocado and salsa.  Quesadillas it was!!

This is my version of a quesadilla (by the way you pronounce it "case a dee a" not how Matt Moran was pronouncing the other night - he may be a chef but he doesn't know how to say it!!!

For each quesadilla you need 2 flour tortillas.  Lay one as the base - top with the meat, then cover it with grated cheese, then top with the second tortilla.  I have a pizza oven so I just press it down hard on the stone, then flip it over.  The conventional way is to pan fry it, then flip it over.

Once cooked, cut into quarters and garnish with sour cream, avocado and salsa.  

The kids loved it, there were no more rumbling about no pizzas!!!  Mexican pizzas instead!

In fact, I heard our little neighbour say yum (they were quite cute actually they were all giving me scores out of 10!!) - and so this is how we introduced our Japanese neighbour to Mexican Pizzas!!  He apparently went home to ask his mum to make Mexican!!!

Maybe I should send her my blog address???

Speaking of sending out my blog address, a friend of mine introduced me today to a friend of hers as "this is CateCanCook" - she had given my address to her friend, her friend now loves the site, and cooks meals from it regularly!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!  Now I really know there is someone out there reading me!!

You never know, I may just go "viral" one day after all!!!

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