simple lentil soup

AKA we have too many veggies from our CSA and are trying not to waste any!

as mentioned above, each week we get a half-share of a CSA (community supported agriculture) from Rock Steady Farm, a queer worker-owned farm co-op. the veggies are always fresh and delicious but we aren’t always the best at daily cooking — this is where recipes like these come in! i easily used up the lion’s share of our fresh vegetables and made a delicious, healthy lentil soup. ingredients and instructions below — notably, i think any fresh veggies you have could easily be used in place of what i had!


  • 2 bell peppers
  • 3 whole fresh tomatoes
  • 5 carrots
  • 5+ cloves of garlic
  • olive oil (or preferred oil)
  • 2 cups of red lentils
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 2 cups of water
  • garlic powder
  • TJs onion salt
  • salt or herb salt
  • turmeric
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • oregano
  • pepper
  • NOTE: cayenne would have been good too, and an onion if you have it! (we didn’t)


  1. prepare your vegetables. wash everything thoroughly and peel the carrots, if you like to do that. chop the bell peppers and tomatoes into cube-like shapes. slice the carrots into thin rounds. peel and chop the garlic finely.
  2. heat the olive oil or whatever oil you prefer in a soup pot. sautée the garlic in the oil briefly but don’t allow it to burn. add the bell peppers and carrots and mix around. let cook for a few minutes then add tomato.
  3. add spices/seasonings to taste, do whatever spices you like best! i prefer to just add a bunch of big shakes for each spice — i never measure, but i think people err on the side of less spice so definitely lean into adding the spices!
  4. let this all cook for a few minutes, then add the cans of coconut milk and chickpeas.
  5. add 2 cups of lentils and stir around, then add 2 cups of water and stir that in too.
  6. bring everything to a boil, then put on a lid (you can keep it so steam escapes) and lower to a simmer.
  7. let cook, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick, for 20 minutes.
  8. using a blender, whatever sort you have, blend the soup until it’s sort of mushy and combined (or don’t if you don’t have a blender!)
  9. serve with a splash of olive oil on top, avocado slices, black garlic or everything bagel seasoning.

late summer peach cake

with toasted coconut & pepitas

i baked a cake yesterday, adapting this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for a strawberry summer cake. we got peaches in our CSA, and while in summers past i would have just eaten them fresh, i recently developed a (stronger) allergy to birch pollen, which is commonly found on tree fruit. i’ve had the allergy for a while (i was allergy tested as a child) but now i get hives and itchiness in my mouth when i eat tree fruit, which is quite sad because i love fruit! anyways, cooking fruit alleviates the allergy, which is what led me to making this peach cake.

the original ingredients versus what i used, below:

  • Original:
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour (can swap 3/4 cup or 94 grams all-purpose flour with 3/4 cup or 75 grams of barley flour, see Note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved
  • My recipe:
  • 8 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, browned in a pan (i did this for the flavor and because i always fail to soften butter before baking — it’s always frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) milk (i used oat milk because we didn’t have regular)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 5 peaches, cut into 12 slices each
  • allspice and cinnamon
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • powdered sugar, for topping

recipe from smitten kitchen below, with my adjustments included:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F, 180 C
  • Butter a glass casserole dish (or any pan that is on the deeper side or wider side, 9-10 inches recommended for rising)
  • Thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and cinnamon together in a bowl
  • Brown stick of unsalted butter in a pan
  • Add browned butter to a larger bowl with sugar, mix together until fluffy
  • Mix in milk and vanilla until combined, then mix in egg (i am always afraid the egg will cook if i add it to a hot mixture, ha!)
  • Add dry mixture gradually, mixing just until smooth
  • Pour into prepared baking dish
  • Toast coconut and pepitas separately
  • Press coconut and pepitas into the cake batter, evenly spread (could also try mixing in before pouring the mixture!)
  • Arrange peach slices to cover whole top of cake, pressing in slightly
  • Bake cake for 10 minutes at 350 F, then 50 minutes at 325 F
  • Test to ensure a fork pressed in comes out clean, and it’s done!
  • Coat lightly in powdered sugar to serve