Lentil: It’s Not a Barbra Streisand Movie

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See what I did there? My mother and aunt enjoyed themselves some Barbra Streisand.  My aunt is still a huge fan.  When I was a kid, I used to wonder why anyone would make a movie about someone named after lentils.  At the time I didn’t know how it was spelled or what it was all about.  All I knew was, “Papa Can You Hear Me?” And, I just wanted to tell Barbra, “Yes, yes I do. Now shut the hell up!”

I mentioned in my previous post that I needed to kick the cookie habit (cookies and booze, that is) and go on a cleanse.  I officially started it on Sunday, but I cut caffeine and sugar (with the exception of my birthday cookies) last week.  I have to say, I’m feeling much less irritable and more relaxed.  The detox kit comes with a book that describes all the wonderous vegetables and fruits you can enjoy with your shakes and your half cup of brown rice or lentils per day.  Actually, you can have up to a whole cup of lentils.  Excitement!  In the back of the book, there are some recipes that are acceptable to use on the cleanse so I decided to try the lentil soup recipe.  This is not my average lentil soup recipe, which typically includes chicken stock, ham and if I’m super lucky, bacon.  Heck, I’ve even thrown some potato chunks in my lentil soup every now and then.  It is also not this fantastic lentil soup recipe filled with tasty Moroccan spices, which I really enjoy making as the weather gets colder.  Nope, this recipe is vegan.  Stop laughing.  I did not substitute with any animal products.  But I did find a way to kick it up a notch and make it work with the detox requirements without adding more lentils.  Ready? Here we go:

Lady Sensory’s No, Really, This Doesn’t Taste Like Dishwater Vegan Lentil Soup

2  onions, finely chopped

5  cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed

2-3  tbsp olive oil (I used the Wegmans Basting Oil because it has herbs in it)

1  cup organic baby carrots, chopped

5  stalks celery, chopped

2  bay leaves

1 1/2  tsp dried oregano

1 1/2  tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or more, if you like)

2  14.5 oz cans organic diced or crushed tomatoes (I used diced, but if you like crushed, use them)

2  cups (1 bag) dry lentils, rinsed

8  cups water

3/4  cup baby spinach

3  tbsp vinegar (I used both apple cider and balsamic vinegar)

Salt and pepper, to taste (they recommend sea salt)

Fresh Italian parsley (garnish, add to taste)

In a large pot (use a larger one than the 4.5 qt one I used), warm the oil on medium heat.  Add the onions first and allow them to become translucent.  Then add the garlic and cook until slightly golden.  Follow with celery and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add a little salt and pepper, then follow with the bay leaves, crushed pepper, and dried herbs (you can add different herbs if you like, but these are quite tasty in it).  Continue to cook for another two minutes.  Add the lentils, tomatoes and water (and I did not drain the tomatoes).  Bring the mixture to a boil. Skim some of that foamy stuff off the surface of the soup, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for about 50-60 minutes.  When lentils are tender, stir in the spinach and allow to wilt.  Follow with the vinegar.  I think I used closer to 3 tbsp, but I need a lot of flavor.  Add a little at a time until it suits your fancy. Then add salt, pepper and parsley to taste.  While on this cleanse you can enjoy a cup of this soup a day.  And if you aren’t on some kind of wacky detox, then by all means, have a healthy portion of soup and snack on a crusty whole grain roll…and perhaps a cookie…and a glass of wine…and then maybe some chocolate…and some Streisand.  You go right ahead and rock on with your bad self.

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7 thoughts on “Lentil: It’s Not a Barbra Streisand Movie

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