Monday, November 2, 2009

Early evenings, and mom's soup

You know what I love? The start of daylight savings time. Oh sure, reality will hit me when I drive home with my headlights on tonight, but for right now, the romance is sweet. Did anyone else go to bed at 9:30 last night? Our usual lay-in-bed-and-watch-a-movie time begins around 10:30, but last night we hoodwinked ourselves into bed an hour early. Because even though it said 9:30, it was really 10:30.

And waking up at 6 am only to face the delight of a bonus hour of sleep? Heaven.

Yesterday evening, to celebrate the changing light (and detox after a beer and junk-filled weekend) I cooked up a pot of my mom's lentil soup, and baked a loaf of seedy bread.

Watching my mom make lentil soup was my best and most serviceable kitchen lesson as a child. She never sat me down and instructed me in the process, but I saw her do it so many, many times, I didn't need a recipe when I moved into my own place.

As I settled in with my cutting board and a counter-full of vegetables, I reflected. It's a pretty big gift I've been given-- not just the soup, but the resourcefulness and pride in a tidy kitchen, a warm, loving house, and a meal made from scratch. As I stood stirring, I was back again in the low-ceilinged kitchen of my parent's house, bare feet on the linoleum floor with my back to the woodstove. I was sitting at the table, feeling warm and cared-for, oblivious to the lesson I was learning, the osmosis of all domestic arts I was taking in.

When the soup was done, I made a place at the table for myself and my husband, and we lit candles in the early dark. The soup was delicious. Thanks mom.
Mom's Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked-over
4 cups vegetable broth
2 large carrots, sliced into half-moons
A few grinds of black pepper
salt to taste-- start with 1/2 tsp and go from there

Optional-- a few tablespoons of marinade from a jar of marinated artichokes. Or you can substitute a dash of balsamic, red wine vinegar, or lemon juice.

Warm the olive oil in the bottom of a big soup pot. Toss in the onions, garlic, and celery, and saute until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add the seasonings, tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable stock. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook 15 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. Add the carrots. Cook another ten minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, add the artichoke marinade if using, ladle into bowls, and serve.


Anonymous said...

The soup sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

awww. very sweet post.

Julie said...

I do love a good bowl of lentil soup, but have never tried making it from scratch. Thanks for sharing your treasured family recipe. Aren't those the best? Recipes we grew up loving?!

Lisa-Marie said...

This looks lovely! There are a few ingredients in there I haven't put in lentil soup before, so I shall be trying it.

Kristina said...

Thanks guys! Basically, my (And my mom's) strategy is, as many veggies as possible. We've been known to throw in potatoes, too, and sometimes kale. It makes for a rich and tasty broth.

Emily said...

This is such a soup time of year. Saturday, my housemate made a giant pot of vegetable soup. When she was done with the pot, I filled it up making butternut squash soup. We now have soup coming out our ears!! The fridge is full of it and it's really good. I can't wait to try this recipe!

Heather said...

I love soup season! Thank you for sharing, it looks delicious

Mom said...

Awww thank you sweet daughter-o-mine. Your misty-eyed mom.

Kristina said...

Yay mom! Glad you saw this one. :)

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