My three day trip to Jacksonville has inadvertently turned into a 3 week trip- as my Aunt would say "We make plans, God laughs". It turns out this is exactly what I needed though- I've been sitting outside watching golden leaves fall from the sky like confetti while bundled up in a sweater sipping a cup of hot tea. I literally have nothing to do, nothing needs to be done. Don't get me wrong, I could very easily find many things to do, but that's exactly the point: I have scheduled time for nothing and it's been perfect. Marc will occasionally ask "Do you want to paint?" or "Do you want to help with... (insert household project here)" and I find myself saying... "No, I think I'm just going to do nothing" or "No, I think I'll just go for a walk (...or garden or blog)" These last few months have been emotionally and mentally exhausting so having time away where I could just watch leaves fall and take long walks without having to check my watch, time away where I need to be nowhere and need to do nothing has been truly invaluable. In the midst of my current state of nothingness I've managed to whip up a batch of this really delicious vegetable lentil soup which turned out to be so good that I've made it twice so far.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved*
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, optional
1can diced, crushed, fire roasted or stewed tomatoes
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked through or 1 can BPA-free can of lentils, rinsed
1 small bundle of kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
*If you don't have a need for the remaining celery and carrots you purchased for this recipe chop them up and freeze them in small portions to use as future soup starters.
*If you can't find Brussels sprouts fresh, purchase them frozen and allow them to thaw before using
In a stock pot over medium heat melt the coconut oil. Add in the celery, carrots, onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes.
Add in the Brussels sprouts, sauté for another 3 minutes.
Toss in the garlic and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
Stir in the spices and sauté for another minute before adding in the can of tomatoes and vegetable broth. If using dried lentils, add those in as well.
Bring to a boil before reducing to a simmer. Place a lid on halfway and simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.
If using a can of lentils instead of dried lentils add them in when there is 15 minutes remaining of simmer time.
Stir in the kale once the lentils are cooked (or once the simmer time is up), place the lid back on the stock pot and simmer until the kale is wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
Serves 4-6 large bowls.
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