Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Comfort food in uncomfortable times

  I have been letting myself agonize lately.  I have no good excuses,  nasty gremlin like fears just come over me like clouds of mosquitos and I act as if life were tough and scary.    Which we all know is not really true, not in the big picture anyway.   So many people are really " in the yogurt" these days.  I have some poignant examples of people in trouble .........as we all do.  

 I have had to stop listening to the news and reading the headlines temporarily.  I think nowadays we have too much information to process anyway.

And I have had to give myself an imaginectomy since letting my imagination run wild into negative territory. I am shutting it down for a bit.

  To give myself an extra comfort today, I made us a bowl of lentil soup for lunch and we ate with Dove Boy on the terrace. ( Yes, my husband has given all the wild-life around silly names so it's Dove Boy and Dove Girl that we have as garden guests).

  I got this recipe from A Year at an Italian Table by Valvona and Crolla and Mary Contini.   It's called Braised Lentils.

Take a cup of lentils ( Casteluccio or Puy) and a small 425 g. can of plum tomatoes ( cut the heels off and use the juice), a chopped onion and throw them into a pot to simmer for 45 minutes.  Add enough water to cover and continue to add a little water as needed through the cooking.

AT the same time add salt and pepper, a large cut up garlic clove. ... a sprig of rosemary and a fresh bay leaf from the garden.    Put in a few tablespoons of  extra virgin olive oil and let the whole thing simmer gently.

When this is done to your liking ( about 40 minutes)  you will have prepared another 2 cloves of chopped garlic in 3 T of good olive oil, sautéed.  In this will be about a 1/2 teaspoon of peperoncino or crushed dried peppers sautéed with it.

 Stir this last in before serving.  You can garnish with parsley if you have some.

This is such a good lentil recipe that we have been having it about once a week for the last couple of weeks.  There is nothing like a good rich soup to make Winter seem more friendly.  Enjoy.


  1. That image is razor sharp!
    Very nice! :)

  2. going to make this one, thanks! LF Seattle.

  3. That dish rates a stellar ten on the Bethany Flatulence Scale. ;-)