Lentil Soup with Mushrooms for a Blizzard

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Since moving to New York at the end of January we’ve been through two snowstorms.  I think I’ve had my fill and caught up from the snowless winters we experienced in Northern California.

The snowstorm wasn’t as bad as meteorologists had expected, in fact the NYT says the city narrowly escaped the worst of this storm. Regardless, it was a snow day which means it’s a great day for soup.

I’ve been wanting to redeem myself from a terrible lentil soup recipe I cooked from the internet – it was flavorless, one-noted and didn’t have any of the hearty goodness that seeps into your soul that soup, in my opinion is required to do. I have a great Indian-inspired lentil soup that is now my go-to, but I was looking for a more mediterranean-style without the warming spices. After comparing notes and melding together several recipes the frankenstein recipe was satisfaction and full meal in a bowl.

If I have the time, I generally like to tackle a particular dish by researching several different recipes and notice the template and variations in ingredients. When I feel the groove or essence of the recipe I use what I like or have in my kitchen to make it my own. Do you cook like this too?

Here’s the recipe for lentil and mushroom soup. I used green lentils because it’s what I had on hand. It’s chewier than red lentils which I liked for this recipe. The bite of the lentils and softness of the vegetables was a nice contrast in texture. I also used cremini mushrooms, but you can use any mushrooms you like – chanterelles were used in the Green Kitchen Stories Version.

Note: Add some lemon juice or vinegar of your choice to this soup. The acid kicks up the flavor and cuts the richness from the pancetta and mushrooms. I started with about a spoonful and continued to add to taste.

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Golden milk two ways: sleepy time and afternoon tea 

On my good days I try to switch up my afternoon coffee routine with a cup of golden milk. When I first heard about this traditional Ayurvedic medicinal drink made with tumeric I was intrigued and was willing to give it a try for all its great health benefits. Tumeric has anti-inflammatory properties and combined with the other ingredients it’s a powerhouse of a health elixir. And the name, golden milk drew me in – sounded like a luxurious way to kick off my late afternoon to tide me over before the dinner prep frenzy.

Some people might think this process is a bit involved and it’s defnitely not as simple as brewing a bag of tea, but since I make my coffee using the pour over method, this recipe has a familiar ring of ritual. Gathering the various spices, warming up the milk in a pot, whisking the coconut oil together to melt it all into a golden cup of goodness is all part of the experience and perhaps part of its health benefits. It forces you to slow down and take in the scents, the textures and the transformation of the different ingredients into a creamy golden tonic that is comforting and healing.

I’ve also tried a recipe dubbed as an “evening tea” with its addition of chamomile and it is quite wonderful and calming for unwinding in the evening.

So here they are – the two versions of golden milk tea, which could be consumed anytime of the day, but make it when you need it and see how you like it.

Note: Black pepper helps with the bioavailability of Tumeric – allows your body to absorb the good stuff (curcumin). It also adds little kick and warming quality to the drink.

Continue reading “Golden milk two ways: sleepy time and afternoon tea “