2012-11-06

Easy Hearty Lentil Soup


Cooking a great home-made soup is a truly satisfying experience. I've been trying out a few and usually by-passed cooking with lentils. I thought a lot of prep-time was needed. When I found this recipe I was happy to see that was not the case. This one is great for a cold, fall night and even if you are in a warm climate you’ll like it for lunch. It’s a meal to itself.

Serve it with organic olives and a salad.

* 1 carrot
* 1 onion
* 2 cloves of garlic
* Salt and pepper (I prefer to grind my own)
* Other spices may be added
* Extra virgin olive oil
* Brown or red lentils
* 2 tomatoes
* Tomato paste

Dice the onions and the garlic into thin pieces.
Cut the carrot into small bits.
Chop the tomatoes into small bits. 
Boil 4 cups of water.

In a sauce pan cook 1 ¼ cup of lentils after draining and washing them.
Bring to a boil and let it continue to boil for 3-4 minutes. 
Drain and set aside.

Wipe the saucepan and sauté the onions drenched in olive oil (add garlic when the onions are clear).
The original recipe states the success of the soup depends how much olive oil is used. However, using too much gives the soup an oily base. I’m not a fan of too much oil or like to see it floating around in my bowel. I used about 2 generous tablespoons of oil.

When sautéed add the lentils and stir before adding the carrots, tomatoes and 2 tablespoons 
of tomato paste. Mix together and add water. Bring it to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Here’s Where I Deviant from the Cookbook

Cook
The cooking time suggested is 30 to 45 minutes or at least until the lentils are soft. I don’t like to cook the heck of out the food so I only let the soup simmer for 20 minutes. The more the food is cooked the more the natural enzymes are also cooked. My approach is to take it half way and cook to taste.

Spice 
While simmering add some of your favourite spices. The original recipe did not mention more than salt and pepper. I found without a little punch it tastes a bit blah blah. Here you can get creative by exploring with all kinds of stuff.  I have a little stash of Indian spices so I added turmeric, biryani masala, jeera and curry.

Serve
Add a few pieces of fresh parsley, mint or other leaves. Tastes great and is a nice contrast.

ps: Dress up the table. These are real shell napkin holders.

pss: Good source of iron and vitamin C.  






The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


ME

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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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