If you’re looking for comfort food in cold weather, (or an antidote to overeating), you need my mother’s basic lentil soup. The small and mighty lentil is high in protein and fiber. And, so much more. Best of all, the cozy taste of lentils is comfort personified. The most challenging part is cooking without burning it. I like lentil soup so much I keep the ingredients on hand. You’ll want to also!
Start with one bag of lentils- washed well and drained- remove anything that doesn’t look like lentils.
Three- four cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and cut in thirds
4 TBL olive oil, salt to taste
Four cups water (consider half water, half chicken broth)
Put the washed lentils, salt, garlic, oil and water into a large heavy pot on medium heat. Bring to a boil slowly, so it doesn’t boil over. Cook for at least two hours, uncovered and stirring regularly. When the water has cooked down after about 45 minutes, set a timer and check it every 15 minutes, stirring it carefully. You may need to add more water.
Once the soup starts to cook down, the lentils get sticky and they burn. If this happens, turn off the heat, take a whiff and if you don’t smell BURN, cover the pot and give the soup a few minutes to unstick. Then, add a little water, stir well, turn the soup on and continue. If you have burned it -quickly get another pot and pour the soup in it- you can scoop down to the bottom except for the burned lentils which you throw out (or you’ll have the scorched flavor for dinner- which I don’t recommend).
Lentil soup takes well to add-ons- like leftover pasta or rice. Some like to add vegetables or a little tomato. For myself- I love this soup plain- with hot Italian bread and butter.
Music also brings comfort. Dancing is a just another form of exercise with the added benefit of music! The music in this piece is performed by Pink Martini, an awesome band out of Portland Oregon. The dancers are adorable. (In my next life I hope to come back as a star salsa performer). Donde Estas Yolanda?
Palma – The soothing Paola Pillow- Meet the whole family!