Enter Veggie Millet Soup, the slightly-more-nutritious dinner version of cereal.
Would you believe me if I told you my grandparents traveled all the way down to the Southwest (not sure exactly where) from South Dakota to bring back this golden recipe? Well they did. Kind of. Last February they went on a guided food tour where they visited with famous chefs and foodies and sampled tons of glorious food ... and I believe there was some Julia Childs in there as well because my Grandpa has now added beef bourgeon to his repertoire. On this trip they attended a Suzanne Landry cooking class (in Santa Barbara?) where they left with an electronic cookbook -- which they naturally shared with me! So far I've tried out a few of the recipes and every one is fabulous. But this simple soup recipe keeps me coming back for more!
If you've never tried millet before, this is the perfect recipe to branch out. Millet really just tastes like rice. But as Landry points out, there's a lot more to it: "It is the most alkalizing grain. It is easier to digest than rice. It is good for people wanting to lose weight and for people who have an overly acidic blood condition. Millet has a calming and warming effect, therefore it is a good grain to eat in the fall and winter. In the summer, I would eat it as a grain salad by adding some lightly steamed vegetables in a vinaigrette dressing." But as I said before, in this soup it really just tastes like rice -- so have no fear. Nothing too scary here. The hardest part of this recipe is probably just chopping the squash, which I've had my share of practice this year (I think I've chopped at least five so far this winter).
Suggested serving with Whole-Grain Skillet Corn Bread, which I made here in a muffin tin (although I'm sure it's better in a cast-iron pan). The whole-wheat flour gives it a nutty taste and the buttermilk keeps it light and fluffy. Great with honey! (I often just add lemon to milk to make my own buttermilk since it isn't something I use enough to keep on hand.)
Here it is in a cake pan (I need to get me a cast-iron skillet!)
Make this soup this weekend - you'll have leftovers for lunch next week!
Veggie Millet Soup
1 Tbs unrefined oil
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup winter squash (butternut works well)
1 ear fresh corn or 1/2 cup frozen
1/2 cup millet
5 cups water or veg stock
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
Optional (and highly recommended!): Add 1 cup precooked, drained beans, such as kidney or garbanzo (Note: I've tried both and prefer the garbanzo since the kidney discolor the soup a bit. And I just love me some chickpeas. Kidney beans might have more flavor though)
1. Wash millet thoroughly and drain, set aside (I sometimes skip this step)
2. Saute onion in oil for 2-3 minutes. Peel, deseed, and cut squash into cubes. To the onions add carrots, celery, corn, and squash, saute another 3 minutes or so until the veggies are beginning to look tender.
3. Add millet, water, salt, and herbs. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Serving Suggestions: To increase protein, add precooked beans.
Variations: For a change, replace herbs with 1 tsp. curry and 1/2 tsp. dried ginger.
PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION HERE
***Tonight I tried a new recipe from The Culinary Couple blog: Thai Chicken Wraps. Delicious! And really quick and easy to make, too. Evan was a little nervous about the bean sprouts, but when all wrapped up with the peanut sauce and chicken, they really just added a nice crunch. Looking forward to eating leftovers for lunch this weekend (it uses a panini maker, so hard to bring to work).
What have YOU been cooking up for dinner this week? Send me a link, I love trying out new recipes!