It’s hard to find time rushing in the morning before work and school, but if you can make a few moments to throw together sandwiches to brown-bag for lunch, then there’s enough time for an incredibly filling, nutritious soup. This is an ayurvedic (ancient Indian system of health) take-to-work lunch, a single serving so large you can enjoy a few spoons of it later as a guilt-free afternoon snack. My version is vegan.
This is for a single serving. Easy to double, but use 3 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons spice; you can always top off the thermal flasks with a little more boiling water.
- Hot water for preheating thermal flasks
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon ground Indian spice blend, such as curry powder, garam masala or an ayurvedic churna
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup split mung beans OR red lentils, inspected and rinsed
- 1 Tablespoon brown rice OR other grain such as pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 cup chopped vegetables, frozen OK
Fill a wide-mouth quart or liter vacuum jar half full of very hot water to preheat. This recipe makes just over a pint of soup, but initially it takes more space. Preheating the Thermos a few minutes is the key step to this recipe’s success.
For time’s sake, starting heating the 2 cups water, perhaps in a kettle, while gathering the other ingredients.
Have legumes, grain, spice mixture and vegetables ready by stove. Heat small saucepan on medium 2 minutes. Add oil then spices and salt, and saute, stirring, just 5 seconds. Add the water, legumes and grain. Increase heat to high. Bring to vigorous boil. Add vegetables and return to vigorous boil. Altogether the cooking should take about 3 minutes. Simmering a couple more minutes won’t hurt a thing.
Empty hot water from vacuum jar. Carefully spoon soup from pan into it and screw on top. The soup will be cooked in no less than 3 hours.
Fat-free version: Omit the oil, sauté nothing, and add the spices and salt along with the vegetables, legumes and grain to the water.
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Adapted by Ben S. Pollock from The Raj Recipe Book, at this PDF download.