We had a great time, and mom was a total trooper. In Anusara each class has a sort of theme or philosophy behind it that then informs the asanas we practice that day. Last night we talked a lot about balancing doubt with certainty, and how we always need a little bit of each - certainty comforts us and gives us context; doubt is what keeps us coming back. We leave class knowing that we have shelter and food to return to and that comforts us, but we wake up each morning with no idea what the day will bring.
Speaking of comfort, Britany's post earlier this week about the brillance of soups that you can just throw in a pot and let them do their thing reminded me that I haven't made lentil soup in a while! This soup is deceptively simple, easy to get creative with, and has all those warming, comforting qualities that go perfectly with freezing January weather.
This recipe, like my last one, originated at http://www.101cookbooks.com/, but again I added some little things of my own, and I also made some mistakes because I'm only human and sometimes when I cook, things get crazy. Sometimes, humans open the bag too fast causing lentils to explode all over their kitchen counter. Humans also occasionally realize they forgot about the shallots, and so end up rushing frantically to chop them, sautee them in a separate, way too small pan, and then add them to the already cooking soup. These are not actual cooking steps and I would not recommend following them.
RECIPE: EASY LENTIL AND BROWN RICE SOUP
- 2-3 T olive oil
- ½ sweet potato or yam, chopped into little cubes (no bigger than 1cm)
- 1 onion (any color), chopped
- 2-3 shallots
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 and 1/3 cup red lentils (red lentils cook much faster than other types)
- ½ cup brown rice
- curry powder (2-3 tsp)
- salt (as much as you need)
( I don't normally buy pre-packaged lentils, but the store I went to apparently stopped carrying them in bulk and I was too lazy/time constrained to go anywhere elses so I splurged and bought Bob's Red Mill.)
In a big soup pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, sweet potato, onion, shallots and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat and let the onions brown and start to caramelize a little.
Stir in the broth and bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils and rice, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. By this point the rice will be cooked and the lentils will have totally fallen apart into lentil mush. You can also adjust the thickness by adding more water if you need. Towards the end, stir in 2-3 tsp. of curry powder and some salt (taste the soup before adding salt to see how much you need – a lot depends on how salty your chicken broth is).
Then, you can add whatever toppings you want! Heidi suggests Kalamata olives, feta cheese and sliced toasted almonds. I had none of these on hand, but I HIGHLY recommend squeezing some fresh lemon over your soup - this was the standard garnish for lentil soup in Turkey, and it really adds a nice flavor. I used lemon and some chopped smokehouse almonds, my mom tried lemon and a dollop of sour cream.
Since it's happened at least twice now, I'm thinking that these yoga/soup nights with my mom will become a regular occurance. Also, Anusara immersion at The Om Collective starts TONIGHT! Ahhhh!!! So excited....