Monthly Archives: December 2011

Meema’s New Year’s Lentil Soup

Slow Food DC is starting a new blog series about our favorite recipes! We hope you’ll get to know our board members through what we like to eat.

This recipe comes from our outgoing secretary, Laura.

Below is her interpretation of her grandmother’s recipe for New Year’s Lentil Soup. Italians believe that eating lentils (and wearing red underwear ;)) on New Years brings good luck – hopefully this will bring some to you, our readers! Like many grandmothers, Laura’s conveniently leaves out parts of her recipes when she passes them on, so she has had to add in what she believes are the missing ingredients. This version has served her well, but Laura will admit “…my soup is never quite as good as my Meema’s!”

Meema’s New Year’s Lentil Soup

1 lb lentils Lentils
1 lg. can of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. oregano
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt/pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 quarts water

Rinse the lentils in cold water. Sort and drain them. Simmer lentils uncovered in the 4 quarts of water, and then bring them to a boil. Add all the other ingredients, and simmer for 1.5 hours. Serve hot with crusty Italian bread!

*To make this soup with sausage, take about a 1/2 lb. of sausage out of its casing and brown it. Add it to the lentils with the tomatoes and other ingredients.

(photo used under Creative Commons license. From Flickr user ebarney)

How the Grinch didn’t steal school food

I don’t make new years resolutions; I make them everyday. We as a society should be aware of our actions everyday and the effects they have on others… something Congress has lost sight in; something we need to urge them to reconnect with.

This year, people all over the country mobilized to turn out better food for the kids in this country. Chefs worked to demonstrate, teach, and feed thousands of kids not only in DC but also all over the country. Farmers showed students and parents how they grow the food that they eat, truck drivers dropped of local healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to put in their mouths, and logistic coordinators helped facilitate all of the above. Lots of people have made their resolutions to not only themselves but to the kids of this country to get better food to them. To get wholesome food that isn’t processed into the mouths of kids and teach them skills that no longer exist in mainstream America is a task that should be on many resolution lists this year and for many years to come.

Congress may still continue to follow big business lobbyists and monopolies to cut corners (pizza will never be a vegetable) and the health of our next generation but it does not mean we have to give up. It fuels my fire to believe that such rhetoric can occur and that such ignorance exists.

We got this folks; and we’re still doing a great job together.

Here’s to more kids getting real food in 2012. Please join me in fighting childhood obesity and hunger in America. Let me know if you want to help in the fight @chefallisosna on twitter.

Happy and healthy holidays!

Dec 14: stock up on staples at Whole Foods to make healthy food accessible to all in DC!

Fellow food lovers, this is your chance to stock up on all of the things you’ve been meaning to pick up at Whole Foods! Olive oil, maple syrup, wine, bulk nuts for baking cookies, chicken stock for savory soups… all the stuff you’ll need in the kitchen to get you through the cold months.

Start your list, but hold off until Dec 14th — that’s when Whole Foods is holding a “5% Day” at their P Street and Georgetown locations to benefit a small collective of farmers’ market programs. Your purchases that day will directly help to support your neighbors and your local farm community!

How it works: You shop like any other day, EXCEPT that 5% of all sales at the two Whole Foods locations that day will go toward growing the WIC and SNAP (food stamp) programs at the 14th & U, Mount Pleasant, Bloomingdale, and NoMa farmers’ markets during their 2012 season.

Learn more about the project here.

Slow Food DC Snail of Approval Award Spotlight: P&C Market

Across the street from the west side of Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill, you’ll find one of the winners of our Snail of Approval Awards: P&C Market.

P&C is the perfect place to nip in and grab a coffee and a sandwich, a bit of cheese, a bottle of wine and maybe even something new to brighten your culinary world: Iberico ham, artisanal chocolate or something called jowciale.  Jowciale is similar to guanciale, an Italian bacon made from hog jowl.  These pork cheeks hail from a family farm in Virginia, Edwards Farms.  They’ve been dry-cured and smoked for almost 24 hours.  Slice it very thin, advises Chase Alan Moore, the “C” in P&C Market, and the smoked pork will just melt into your dish.

Pablo Espitia and Chase Alan Moore opened P&C in December of 2008.  After years of traveling, they wanted to open a market similar to the ones you’ll find in most European cities – a market that sells the best of the best that the grocer has found to bring to his customers.  Espitia and Moore took their time finding the products they wanted to sell.  It took almost two years to cultivate the relationships with the regional food producers that now stock the shelves of P&C.

Take the now famous Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia.  Espitia and Moore toured Polyface, and spoke at length to the farm’s owner, Joel Salatin, about their vision for the Capitol Hill market.  Since then, P&C has become the only retailer in the district for Polyface meats.  Another favorite producer is Trickling Springs Creamery.  Moore says he felt strongly about stocking their products, and lobbied hard to sell their milk, butter and ice cream.  They also met with Central Coffee Roasters and developed P&C’s own blend of coffee beans.  And the list goes on – a family run honey business, peanuts from Virginia, a chocolatier out of Brooklyn and a gluten free cookie maker.  Ask Moore about any of the goods on his shelves, and he will happily speak at length about the people behind the product.

There are also a number of unique imported products, like Albert Menes spices, Mariage Frères teas and Pastificio dei Campi pasta, a line of dried pasta Moore says rivals any fresh pasta on the market.

In the next year, Moore says he would like to increase the presence of the store’s website to bring the products they love to a national audience.  But that doesn’t mean that P&C isn’t grounded in the local community.  They’ve also put down strong roots in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  The store has sponsored a little league team and a bluegrass concert at Eastern Market.  Moore says he wants to be like the community businesses he grew up with – a real presence in the lives of the neighborhood residents.

Find P&C on Facebook

Visit their website