french green lentil soup – a soup to soothe & a tea to heal

5th January 2011

Before I left for India, I had been nursing a very sore body and sniffly nose, snuggled in bed for two days. It started on the Friday night when we had Anna and her family over to celebrate the third night of Hanukkah.  I should have known something was brewing.  I cooked.  Nothing unusual, except I salted the food far too much.  My dishes weren’t up to their usual standard.  We painted glasses for Hanukkah, but my creativity just wasn’t flowing.  That sometimes happens.  I did overindulge in Anna’s magnificent doughnuts which she whipped up in my kitchen as we painted.  I knew I shouldn’t have gone for that fourth one, but they tasted so fresh and so good with her homemade jam.

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Then everyone left.  I went to bed.  Feeling not quite right.  Woke up during the night, feeling achy and my senses fragile.

I have to mention that I didn’t actually feel like cooking the next day, but I had no choice, wanting something warm and comforting to soothe me throughout the day.  This is what I could think of that was quick and easy and didn’t require too much hands-on work.

ginger lemon & honey healing tea

This and a simple and effective home remedy that we drink when we are feeling a little under the weather.  Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Lemon helps with elimination as well as fight viral infection and is high in Vitamin C.  Ginger is an overall universal medicine and detoxifier, and the black pepper helps to destroy the mucus in the digestive tract and sinuses.  Both the ginger and pepper are warming and stimulating which is great to promote sweating encouraging to expel impurities in the system. 

ingredients:

1 inch by 2-inch piece of ginger (unpeeled and cut into thin slices.  The amount of surface area you expose and the thinner you slice, the more kick you will taste.)

1  – 2 big tablespoon raw honey

½ – 1 lemon, freshly squeezed

2 pinches of salt

2 pinches of freshly ground black pepper

preparation:

Place in a cup and fill with steaming hot water. Stir. Taste. Add more honey, or more lemon until perfect.  It’s also great if left to sit at room temperature so the ginger infuses all its goodness. Drink three – six times a day.

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green lentil soup – a soup to soothe

Serves 6

ingredients :

1 cup small green/brown lentils

1.5-litre vegetable stock/water

4 carrots

4 sticks celery

1 tsp freshly ground pepper

small bunch of lemon thyme (or regular thyme)

2 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground

2 bay leaves

4 Tablespoons tomato paste

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

a good handful of fresh parsley, very finely chopped

olive oil

parmesan cheese

preparation :

In a bowl, soak the lentils for a good 5 hours or overnight.  Drain.  Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the diced vegetables and sweat gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground cumin seeds, bay leaves and thyme and continue to sweat for another five minutes.

Add the lentils, tomato paste,  pour in the stock and bring to simmer.  Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the lentils become tender.  Discard the herbs and taste for seasoning – it will most likely need a good pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper.

Ladle the soup into warm bowls and scatter over lots of chopped parsley.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Goodness shared by Stacey

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