As fall is on its way and each day is getting progressively cooler, I feel more inclined to make hearty, delicious soups. One of my favorites lately is lentil soup. Give me a handful or two of french, green, or red lentils and I’m determined to make a meal out of it! In addition to being tasty, lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, and iron.
Recently, I made a lovely and simple red lentil soup accompanied by a more labor intensive artichoke and arugula dip, along with some french bread from a local bakery.
I found the recipe for the red lentil soup on the website for 101 Cookbooks. I omitted the feta and black olives and still found it quite delicious and easy on the palate. The almonds garnished on top gave it a nice crunch as well.
I had a can of artichokes and had never made an artichoke dip, but heard good reviews about The Vegan Mouse’s Artichoke & Spinach dip. I used her recipe as the basis for my dish and replaced the frozen spinach with fresh arugula as I had a bunch of it on hand from my CSA share. I also topped the dip with panko whole wheat bread crumbs that I toasted slightly by mixing some with some Earth Balance butter in a pan before putting on top of the dip to bake in the oven. I enjoyed spreading the dip on my french bread, but did find that it was a little too mayonnaise-y for my taste. In the future, I’d probably use less mayonnaise (or Vegenaise to be more accurate). Still a stellar find though!
I had a lot of artichoke and arugula dip and french bread left over the next day, so I decided to make a sandwich out of it. I just added some fresh basil, a slice or two of tomato, salt and pepper, the dip, and viola! Instant, easy, delicious sandwich.
I do love how this picture turned out. It looks like the sandwich has a tomato/basil tongue that it is teasing you with! It reminds me of the talking, giant man-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors. Oh how I love the Steve Martin-Rick Moranis duo on-screen!
Overall, I give the red lentil soup and artichoke & arugula dip a 3 out of 5 carrots on my veganlicious scale!