Love Soup


     Cooking is an excellent way to demonstrate love.  As a wife and mother, I have cooked with love and improved my skills over the years.  My children really appreciated my food when they were away at college.  When they tired of dormitory food, they called to ask for recipes.   Special dishes were requested when they came home.  Knowing that they enjoyed my cooking inspired me to be more creative.
     Indian food became a favorite back in the seventies when we lived in Oxford, England.  We had a sumptuous red lentil soup in an Indian restaurant years ago while vacationing in Vancouver, Canada.  We requested the recipe but came home with only the ingredients.  I wrote them on a napkin.
      This recipe developed over time.  I call it Love Soup because it takes time and care to make this soup.  I love how it perfumes my house.  I love how it tastes and I love to watch friends and family enjoying it.  I do not measure yet the soup is always good.  Do not make this soup if you are angry.  Light a candle and say a prayer:
May all beings be safe.
May all beings be healthy.  
May all beings be happy.  
May all beings live with ease.

Begin by thoroughly rinsing two or three cups of red lentils (they are really orange) in cool water.
In a soup sized pot, place the lentils plus four to six cups of vegetable or chicken stock.  Turn on the heat and bring to a simmer.
Amorously chop a large onion.  The candle you lit may prevent your eyes from tearing.
Mince two or three fingers of fresh ginger and several fresh cloves of garlic.  Passionately pound this mixture in a mortar and pestle with a small handful of fresh coriander seed, and an equal amount of fresh cumin seed.
Melt a couple of tablespoons of ghee in a fry pan and sauté the onions, ginger, garlic, and spice.  Add a tablespoon of curry powder, a tablespoon of garam masala, and a teaspoon of chili peppers if you like heat.  Gently stir the mixture and sensuously breathe in the perfume.
Empty the fry pan into the soup pot.  Generously pour yourself a glass of wine and then deglaze the fry pan with a little bit of it.  Oust the flavored wine from the pan into the pot.   At this point you can check out your refrigerator for any vegetables that you might want to mince and add to the pot, such as; carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, peas, squash, or beans.  My favorite vegetable to add is okra.  I buy it frozen and already chopped when it is not in season.
Simmer the soup and taste for seasoning.  I use salt (my favorite is grey salt) and pepper.  I also use Lawry’s seasoned salt.  You could add other Indian spices.  It might take thirty minutes until it’s done.  You can tell by tasting.
Tantalize with a garnish of chopped cilantro (alternately slather a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream to heighten the presentation.)  Serve with lots of LOVE.

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