I love soups--seriously. It is a guilty pleasure that I indulge in when I'm craving a dose of comfort. The truth is that on chilly days when I am able to enjoy precious free time by myself, you will most probably find me curled up on the sofa with a mug of soup and a good book.
To me, those few moments before a meal, signal the time to slow down and to contemplate. A bowl of soup stretches my ritual. I take the time to sip slowly, to enjoy each taste of elixir. I contemplate each second, from the instant that its steamy aroma hits my nostrils to the moment when my taste buds embrace its flavor. By the time I feel the warm liquid settle within me, healing waves of comfort have already done their job.
At home, we treat soups with a bit of reverence. We typically eat in silence, as if trying to beckon the quasi magical powers hidden within each piping bowl of bejeweled liquid. Were you to join us at our table, you would probably be pulled in by the aura of silence interrupted only by the clincking of spoons against bowls, a few escapee slurps, and privately satisfying gulps. Once satiated, the conversation would flow freely.
Today, I share with you my recipe for lentil soup. I like to serve it over scoops of brown rice but it is just as satisfying when enjoyed on its own. I like the flavor of chicken broth but this can just as easily be made with vegetable stock.
Take the time to savor some soup this season and let yourself get lost in the moment. Discover pure comfort in a bowl.
Lentil Soup with Brown Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced carrots
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup dried lentils
5 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 cups cooked brown basmati rice
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots; saute for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, bay leaf, and thyme and saute for 2 minutes. Add wine and cook for 1 minute or until it has almost evaporated. Add the lentils, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring liquid to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Remove bay and discard. To serve, place a scoop of rice on each bowl and ladle the soup onto it.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
©Copyright Sandra A. Gutierrez, 2010: All Rights Reserved. The content of this blog, recipes and photographs in whole or their parts may not be copied, distributed, taught or disseminated by any means without the express written consent of the author.