Vulcan Plomeek Soup (vegan)

Kirk, Spock and McCoy in TOS episode Journey to Babel. Image via StarTrek.com

Kirk, Spock and McCoy in TOS episode Journey to Babel. Image via StarTrek.com And what’s up with that technicolor fruit?

Star Trek trivia: Vulcans are vegetarians. And after reading about the passing of Leonard Nimoy on Friday, I decided I needed to do something in memoriam, other than watch Star Trek reruns on YouTube and sniffling.

Like many others, to me, Spock represented a slightly awkward, overly intelligent outsider, who never felt truly at home anywhere— that feeling of alienation so many of us can identify with. Whether photographing plus-sized models for his book The Full Body Project, or Tweeting about stopping bullying, acceptance was an issue Nimoy himself tackled in his art, post-Trek. (And during, such as when he wrote this moving letter to a young fan who was dealing with racism.)

So I present: vegetarian Vulcan Plomeek Soup. Trek fans may remember that it first shows up in Amok Time, and the dish that Nurse Chapel tries to give to an emotional, hormonally charged Spock is slightly red. In Voyager, Neelix tries his hand at making it, but it’s too spicy for Tuvok.

Since a few Trek episodes mention a dish called plomeek broth, I decided to make my soup a little more filling– and to tackle the color issue— by using red lentils, in a soup partly inspired by Turkish cooking.

Ingredients for plomeek soup.

Ingredients for plomeek soup.

Plomeeks are, apparently, a kind of flowering plant on Vulcan, often used in gardens. And since I couldn’t get ahold of any fresh plomeeks this time of year, I decided the logical thing to do is make my own version of the recipe. Ginger stands in for plomeeks, as they’re also common in gardens, and ginger can be used in both tea and soup (like plomeeks!)greensEDIT

Because Spock’s home planet is hot and desert-like, I borrowed red lentils from Turkish cuisine. Turkish lentil soup is perfect for sweltering days: not too heavy, but extremely nutritious and filling. I also tossed in some chopped spinach and arugula, for extra vitamins.

There’s a number of variations of plomeek soup: The Food Replicator has a version with beets as a base; The Geeky Chef’s take is with tomatoes. If you look at The Star Trek Cookbook, you’ll find a version with carrots, and one with squash.

I was really happy with how this soup came out: simple and filling, but tasty and unusual, thanks to the lemon and ginger. While the soup was cooking, I thought back to the first time I saw Star Trek, when I was really young. It was shown on Sunday nights, and if I was well-behaved during bathtime, I would get to stay up to see an episode. And I assumed that being an adult would be like that: an exciting utopia where logic and reason would ultimately prevail.

Thank you, Leonard Nimoy, for all the Star Trek memories. You helped generations of misfits feel less alone— and you lived long, and prospered.

Vulcan plomeek soup.

Vulcan plomeek soup.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils

2 medium carrots, shredded or grated

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1-2 cups spinach and arugula, finely chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (or broth, or use a bouillon cube)

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

lemon juice

  1. Grate the carrots and dice the onion, and saute together over low heat. Add some of the grated ginger to the vegetables.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, bring five cups vegetable broth or stock to a boil.
  3. When the stock is boiling, add the red lentils, carrots and onions, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. When the lentils are soft (about 20-30 minutes) add the spinach and arugula, and let cook for a few minutes more— you want to lightly cook the greens, and it won’t take long.
  5. Serve hot, with a dash of lemon juice.

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup red lentils

2 medium carrots, shredded or grated

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

1-2 cups spinach and arugula, finely chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (or broth, or use a bouillon cube)

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

lemon juice

  1. Grate the carrots and dice the onion, and saute together over low heat. Add some of the grated ginger to the vegetables.
  2. While the veggies are cooking, bring five cups vegetable broth or stock to a boil.
  3. When the stock is boiling, add the red lentils, carrots and onions, and reduce to a simmer.
  4. When the lentils are soft (about 20-30 minutes) add the spinach and arugula, and let cook for a few minutes more— you want to lightly cook the greens, and it won’t take long.
  5. Serve hot, with a dash of lemon juice.

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4 responses to “Vulcan Plomeek Soup (vegan)

  1. Pingback: 2015-03-06 Fabulous Friday Finds | surviving the food allergy apocalypse·

  2. Pingback: Panicked in Detroit: remembering David Bowie | V 8 Mile·

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