Lately, I’ve been busy at work and stressed out in life. Last night, I had the realization that, no matter how I arranged my evening, there was no way I could meet all of my obligations. Usually, when I have too much on my plate, yoga (or the gym) is always the first thing to go, followed by the preparation of healthy meals, then sleep. Because, you know, a hungry, frazzled zombie is incredibly productive.
Yesterday, because I already knew that I couldn’t finish everything, I decided to see what would happen if I took care of myself first, then worked on my other projects. So, off to the gym I went. The workout calmed me and focused my mind, and I felt like I’d had a distinct ending to my work day, and beginning to my evening. When I got back home, I put together a simple lentil soup to simmer on the stove while I worked. The verdict: Taking care of myself resulted in fresher eyes and a healthy, hearty soup that should last me through the week. It’s also very likely that I finished just as much with a refreshed, clear head as I would have had I sat right down at the computer as soon as I got home from the office. I’ll definitely need to remind myself of this next time my life gets crazy (*cough* tonight).
On to the soup:
As most of my pals could tell you, I have a long history of spectacular lentil soup failure. It seems that, the easier something is to make, the more difficult I find it. I’ve been trying to focus on simpler foods lately, so I resisted the urge to over-season, and came up with a very easy lentil soup recipe that is a bit reminiscent of the delicious bean soup from one of my now-closed Brooklyn favorites, Stir It Up.
Cold Weather “Caribbean” Lentil Soup
10 cups water
5 Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cubes (with sea salt & herbs)
1 can coconut milk
1 bag green lentils, washed and sorted
1 can mixed salad beans (I like garbanzo, pinto, kidney)
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup raw carrots, diced
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
.25 teaspoon nutmeg
.25 teaspoon allspice
Combine all except peas in a large soup pot. Simmer with the lid on until lentils are tender. Adjust spices to taste. When soup is almost ready to serve, add peas and simmer for 10 to 15 more minutes.