Millet is an ancient grain that has recently gotten a big reputation. Remember the quinoa craze? And how annoying it was to remember how to say it when it looked nothing like it sounded? Prepare for Millet-Mania. At least it’s phonetic.
My acupuncturist (and to be fair to me, my deceased dog had an acupuncturist long before I did — as if that makes me any LESS flaky sounding!) wants me to eat more millet. I am seeking ways to tonify my liver, people, and it’s just a coincidence that millet is having its moment at the same time. Or maybe it’s for my spleen?
All I know is, coincidentally millet is now popping up everywhere, including on an NPR piece I heard that other day that claimed that the Masai are the best breakfast warriors on the planet — never mind that they drink blood straight from the cow, is that really grosser than my preference for rare steak? — because they eat millet porridge.
I had a nice vegetable soup I had made (it’s finally raining! Yay!) and I wanted to add millet. Here is one of the few sites I found that had any millet cooking tips — The Vegan Coach (gack!) and she seems to have just copied and pasted, forgetting a few steps. Everyone seems to agree that toasting the millet makes it taste better and that was easy enough. Heat a non-stick skillet and move the millet around until it starts to pop like tiny corn. At that point, be careful you don’t burn it. I just can’t figure out how long to cook it before you are supposed to eat it. Damn you, heritage grains and your miraculous tonifying properties.
I added my soup to the toasted millet and cooked them together for about 20 – 25 minutes but I’m not convinced the millet was actually ready — although I have no idea what cooked millet is supposed to taste like. It was pretty tasty anyway. Next time? Millet muffins with molasses (that one is good for your Chinese liver troubles) and ditto walnuts!
P.S., If you are wondering why I haven’t been blogging, it’s right in the title of the blog — I have actually been writing instead of baking (or blogging). For a change. Sheesh!
Winter Vegetable Millet Soup
2 large tomatoes (best you can get at this time of year — if they don’t smell like tomatoes skip them!)
1 large can of stewed tomatoes (16 oz)
2 medium zucchini
2 big carrots (don’t use those “mini” carrots — no flavor)
1 large onion
1/2 cup of chopped cabbage — either color
2 cups of vegetable or other broth, plus a stock cube of your choice to enhance the “umami” (I like Telma mushroom cubes but this time I actually used a frozen beef stock instead — with great results)
1 teaspoon each, crushed as you add it: dried oregano, Italian parsley, dill weed, tarragon, basil
Sea salt to taste
1 cup of uncooked millet
Chop your vegetables. Saute onion till clear in a big soup pot in lots of olive oil. Add chopped carrots and then zucchini. Add cabbage and cook all veg till the cabbage is wilted. Add tomatoes and then canned tomatoes and broth. Allow the soup to almost boil and then add stock cube, stirring well to ensure the cube dissolves.
In a separate no-stick (ungreased) pan, toast the millet by stirring the grains over a medium heat until they start to pop. Add the hot millet to the soup and cook on a low heat at least 30 minutes — probably more. I’m not sure if my millet ever cooked so I’m putting the rest of the soup in the fridge to see how it behaves tomorrow. If it’s like rice or barley, it should absorb some moisture. Stand by!
Also, I served my soup with that amazing lactose-free sour cream I adore (and was given coupons for by Green Valley Organics). It’s organic, it’s local, and it tastes like heaven after years of that disgusting vegan “sour cream.” Bless those people.