March 19, 2020
Andy and I are hunkered down, hibernating and riding out the Covid -19 storm like the rest of the world. In the peacefulness of the countryside where we live it feels no different than any other day for us. Wake up at 6 am, meditate in silence, make and enjoy healthy meals, take in the lovely fresh air while walking in the woods, do our Tai Chi and Qigong.
But outside of this oasis, the world seems to be in free fall, changing minute by minute. Most feel powerless and fearful, scared for the future. The unknown is always more frightening than the known. All we can do is trust in the powers that be and heed the advice to self isolate, sanitize, wash hands, support our immune system with healthy food and virtual hugs from family and friends.
In the meanwhile, I am using this as an opportunity to go thru my refrigerator, dry storage and freezer to use up what I have on hand before I venture out to the store if needed. Taking stock of sorts and I will try and post as many recipes, notes on health, and things of interest, to keep me busy. First up, soup! My favourite. Covers a lot of bases nutritionally and makes me feel like I am getting a big hug.
Lentil and Pea Soup
Often, when shopping I will buy random items just to try them out and in the case of this soup, it is the Lentil and Pea Soup mix #3280 from the Bulk Barn. Not a premade soup, just a selection of beans/peas and nothing else which is appealing.
Contains, green lentils, red lentils, split red lentils, split yellow peas, split green peas and pearl barley.
Dried beans and lentils are nutritional powerhouses because they are inexpensive, fill you up, easy to cook, have a long shelf life and contain a long list minerals and vitamins such as B Vitamins, magnesium, zinc, potassium, protein, fiber, calcium, iron, copper, folate, etc.
Adapting the Lentil Soup recipe from my Dao of Harmony Dawn cookbook, this is a quick nutritious and tasty soup for lunch or dinner. Serve on its own or with toasted baguette orgrain crackers, nothing more is needed.
The soup is hearty and will thicken as it sits absorbing more of the liquid. Add more water and adjust seasonings accordingly- meaning more dill, lemon.
Makes about 10 cups and freezes well. Although not specified, seek out Organic produce where ever you can.
1 cup Lentil and Pea mix #3280 from the Bulk Barn
2 TBSP Olive oil
1 cup diced leeks
3 cloves garlic chopped fine
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
¾ cup celery chopped
1 cup butternut squash, chopped
3 Bay leaves
6 plus cups of water
2 organic vegetarian stock cubes (or homemade if you have on hand)
½ cup fresh dill chopped fine (or dried to taste- probably 2 teaspoons)
Pinch dried chili flakes
Zest of half a lemon
3 TBSP plus of lemon juice (1/2 or one lemon)
2 cups of fresh chopped kale, or any other dark green leafy vegetable
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil add 1 cup Lentil and Pea mix, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, rinse well and set aside.
Place pot back on medium-high heat, add olive oil, along with the aromatics- leeks, garlic, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash and reserved beans stirring to combine.
Cover with 6 cups of water, stock cubes, bay leaves, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 30 45 minutes or until beans/peas are tender. Adding more water if too thick.
Add kale, fresh dill, lemon zest and lemon juice and cook for another couple of minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings (adding more lemon or dill as desired). Will thicken as it sits.