It’s been a little quiet around RWT since last week. I’ve been super busy with work and upcoming projects…and you know how the holidays are. Overall, I’ve needed a good reset. Our plans to go to Charleston for turkey day with Helen – more on that soon – finally got sorted out and we spent a great weekend away. Amazing dinners, great cocktails, some photo taking. I came back hoping to feel settled and ready to tackle the last month of this year…and I didn’t.
I’m restless. Uninspired. Fidgety. A little on edge. Things aren’t happening the way I’d hoped the last few weeks. I’m tired of being tired of being disappointed. I’ve spent the last few days prepping for jobs…and at the same time… randomly cleaning out the fridge. Getting on a ladder to get to that top cabinet shelf that I haven’t seen since we moved in. Wiping down door handles that have been neglected. Needing more support and less clutter. Less noise. Less…meaningless stuff. All this activity goes together right now. I need more creativity and less distraction…so until I find that balance, I’ll sort through magazines and alphabetize things, thank you very much.
There’s also soup. I made a recipe similar to this some time ago…but this one comes together in a flash – it’s just not as fussy. I found a quart of red lentils on our shelves – hidden behind some crystallized ginger and some garlic herb mix and some Rancho Gordo beans and heavens knows what else – that needed to be used. They’re taking up space but I love them and hate that we’ve forgotten each other. Seriously, folks…get this simmering on the stove then move on to something else. Come back in about 20 minutes and finish it up. It’s that easy. I’ve altered the recipe a bit to add a bit of acidity to the mix with a hefty squeeze of lemon juice. I’ve also kicked up the heat a bit with a Thai red chili – feel free to omit if the spice isn’t your thing. You don’t really need the yogurt and the cilantro garnish…but it sure makes it look pretty.
Red Lentil, Chili and Chickpea Soup – serves 4 – adapted from a recipe found here at BBC Good Food
– Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Add the oil, thai red chili and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.
– Puree the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas and the lemon juice. Heat gently, season well and stir in the cilantro. Finish with a dollop of yogurt and cilantro leaves.