Happy January, everyone! I’m sure you’ve noticed that you’ve been directed to my new page and I really hope you like it. Please change your readers and bookmarks to lead you to http://www.thetrufflehoney.com!
A few months ago, I felt like the blog needed a new, fresh look and its own domain name, and since I have no idea how to code, I sought out some help. Lindsay from Love & Olive Oil (and Purr Design) really did a wonderful job here and, whether she realizes it or not, has helped my personality shine through the new design, which I absolutely love. I hope you do, too! There are still a few things I need to update, but I plan on getting all of that done very soon.
Can you believe January is already in full force? Part of me wishes the holidays didn’t fly by so quickly, but the other part is grateful that the new year is here, and that I can get back into the swing of things and get some sort of routine back in my life.
My long weekend in London was incredible. I am so grateful that I had the chance to ring in the new year in such a great city with wonderful people. While my time in London was short, we were able to cram in a lot of great activities. We had afternoon tea, saw One Man, Two Guvnors, had wonderful dinners at Les Deux Salons and Tayyabs (The Indian food in London brings that of NYC to shame!), drank way too much wine, chatted like crazy in pubs, walked from Clapham Common to Soho (and beyond!) in an afternoon, cruised the Thames on New Year’s Eve all dressed up and counted down to midnight with an incredible view of the London Eye in the background while fireworks lit the sky with unimaginable brilliance and hope. I will never forget how 2012 started, and I am thrilled to see what the new year will bring.
2011 was quite a year for me. I was able to travel, become closer to old friends, make new friends, cook and bake more, sing with purpose, audition for something and actually get the part, and spend great time with family. 2011 required me to look deep within myself to find what I am supposed to accomplish in this life, and while I still don’t have many of the answers, I learned that being true to myself, trusting my instincts, and working hard towards what I want are extremely important tools in my quest to discover purpose.
I haven’t made any resolutions for 2012, but I did make an inspiration board of sorts with goals I’d like to accomplish this year. They include singing more, having the courage to put myself “out there” in auditions, taking time for me, being present, volunteering, traveling (I’d like to see Hawaii this year, I think.), and adopting a dog, among others. Hopefully I’ll discover other inspiration along the way, too.
So far, my new year has brought flying, unpacking, getting back to work, and bringing clean eats back into my life. I’m not a huge fan of crash dieting after the holidays or making goals that’ll be impossible to keep, but I do believe in listening to my body and giving it what it needs after over using it these past few weeks. And, strangely enough, it’s been craving soup.
As you can probably tell, due to the dearth of soup recipes on this blog, I’m not its biggest fan. Broth soup is rarely filling enough to count as a meal, and if I’m going to take the time to make a pot of soup, I’d like it to be hearty enough to satisfy me, even when I’m trying to eat lighter.
This soup, from 101 Cookbooks, is my kind of recipe. Texture and depth in soup are two qualities that are often completely overlooked, but this soup gets both of those ideas just right. Red lentils and yellow split peas are simmered in a broth of coconut milk and tomato paste along with some spices until they practically fall apart. They develop a creamy richness and are imbued with faint hints of coconut, curry, and the subtle sweetness of the tomato paste.
Once the soup has simmered and the flavors have melded, you can add farro or brown rice to give the soup a little extra staying power. Something about lentils and grains together have an uncanny ability to warm, fill, and make any sort of dish seem whole and in this soup, they work together to create a hearty bowl of familiarity with a hint of mystery, too. It’s calming, satisfying, and a great way to get back into the clean eating groove, which is exactly what I was hoping to do when I made it.
So, again, Happy New Year to all of you! I’m very hopeful for this coming year, and I hope all of you accomplish whatever you set out to do. Even if those goals start by making a pot of simple, hearty soup.
One Year Ago: Spicy Roasted Broccoli
Coconut Red Lentil Soup
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils
7 cups water
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 scallions, sliced thin
1/3 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
small handful cilantro, chopped
cooked brown rice or farro, for serving
1. Rinse the lentils and split peas for 30 seconds under cold running water. Pour them into a large dutch oven, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Stir to combine and then cover the mixture, allowing it to simmer for 30 minutes, or until the split peas have become soft.
2. Heat the curry powder in a small skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, just until toasted and fragrant. Don’t let this burn.
3. In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil and add half of the scallions, the rest of the ginger, and the raisins/cranberries over medium heat. Stir to combine and heat for two minutes before adding the tomato paste, mixing well, and heating for two more minutes.
4. To the skillet with the tomato paste and scallions, add the toasted curry powder and mix well to combine. Once the lentils have simmered for 30 minutes, add the tomato paste/scallion/curry powder mixture, the coconut milk and the salt to the pot with the lentils and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes. If you feel your soup is getting too thick, you can add more water as you see fit.
5. Serve this soup warm, in large bowls, topped with scallions and about 1/2 cup of brown rice or farro.
From 101 Cookbooks