soul satisfying

Hi there, friends! It's been a long time. Way too long. I don't have much of an excuse, but let me try so you understand. I still love to cook, don't worry. But I had a baby, moved, traveled, moved again, and then the holidays started. And I guess this took a back seat. And I regret that.

My friends and I started a friends "Biggest Loser" which was an attempt to support each other in healthy weight loss. I still have about 8 pounds of my 80 (yes 80!) lbs I gained during pregnancy, so this has been a great motivation. And since we're sharing healthy ideas and recipes, it's helped to get me back on track with this blog.

About a year and a half ago, my friend Beth decided to have a small get together for her birthday at a restaurant in Bloomington called Turkuaz cafe. It's a Turkish restaurant, and with the minimal experience I have with Turkish food, I was really excited to try. And since then I've returned a few times. One of my favorite things that they serve is their red lentil soup. It comes on the side of most entrees, and is simple and earthy, with the great thick texture of the broken down red lentils that I love.
 So after some serious searching, I found a recipe that I absolutely love (with some of my own adjustments), and to my surprise, it is unbelievably easy, quick, healthy, and delicious! I don't usually trust recipes where you throw everything in a pot and simmer, with no sauteeing beforehand, but this one works for some reason. So to my biggest loser friends, I highly recommend it. Lentils are packed with fiber, which keeps you full (and ... regular;)). And full of veggies and cooked with no fat, you can indulge and serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and a hefty slice of crusty bread. Or millet, which I love. Give it a try. I really recommend it.

Turkish Red Lentil Soup
About 6 servings
8 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 large onion, chopped fine (I use a food processor)
1 large carrot, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/2 cups red lentils, picked through
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon coarse salt, such as sea salt or kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin

  1. Add all ingredients to a large, heavy bottomed pot. Simmer until lentils and vegetables are soft and broken down. Serve with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and fresh parsley or mint.