I generally have a lot to say, but this week has been different. Since last Friday’s horrific events, I have sat down to write something here a number of times, but I haven’t been able to string words together in any sort of meaningful way. I hope it goes without saying that my thoughts are with everyone touched by the tragedy in Newtown, though. I am so very sorry for your loss; I am also amazed and inspired by your strength and grace.

It’s never been more clear to me than now that when the world scares and saddens me, I retreat to my kitchen. It’s a place where things make sense. It’s where I feel happy and safe.

As you can probably imagine, and maybe like many of you, I’ve busied myself more than ever in the kitchen this week. I’ve made batch after batch of this toffee, as well as a slew of cookies. These were gifts for teachers and others who make a difference in my family’s world…they are small tokens, but they’re infused with love…love I hope the recipients will feel this year more than ever before.

As for this lentil soup (that I adapted from the wonderful Nourished Kitchen), I believe meals built around foods like this provide vital nutrition and much needed comfort during trying times. Many of us surely need that right now…

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These posts from fellow bloggers made me cry and think a lot this week; I hope you can set aside some time to read them:

Noah Pozner: Force of Nature
My Newtown
The Blessing of Extraordinary People
On Newtown
After Newtown
It Might Get Loud
Light in the Darkness
“You Must Go On, I Can’t Go on, I’ll Go On…”


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  1. 1

    LiztheChef — December 20, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    Well said, dear Winnie. I think there has been a lot of soup-making recently. Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season. X0 Liz

  2. 2

    Antonio — December 20, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    Do lentils really require that much soaking time?

  3. 3

    Winnie — December 20, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    As I explained above, lentils don’t need to be soaked, but they do benefit from it. I recommend soaking them in order to benefit from all the nutrients they offer, and definitely if you find you have trouble digesting legumes. I don’t always soak them, though…sometimes I forget!

  4. 4

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — December 20, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    Soup is the ultimate comfort, this looks wonderful, Winnie!

  5. 5

    The Wimpy Vegetarian — December 21, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    Lentil soup is a favorite of mine, and I too have found some solace by spending time in the kitchen this week. Thanks so much for sharing the links. Happy holidays.

  6. 6

    Hannah — December 21, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    This is indeed a bowl of comfort, Winnie. I’ve kept myself very busy in the kitchen this week – it helped quiet my mind and was good to focus on something tangible. Thank you for sharing your words and these other posts, too.

  7. 7

    Enjoying these last days of 2012 « Enjoying Each Moment — December 21, 2012 @ 10:58 pm

    […] to make this yummy lentil soup while it’s chilly […]

  8. 8

    Stacy — December 22, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

    Winnie, thank you for this delicious soup recipe. (I’m hungry for dinner right now and it looks so good & comfy, LOL!) By the way…wanted to tell you that your One Simple Change piece on dairy was excellent, well written and informative. I follow Paleo and enjoyed your insights on raw. Although I am non-dairy, I do eat fermented dairy. How wonderful that you are writing a book! I will definitely add it to my nutrition library. About wheat…have you ever baked with einkorn flour? I’m just about ready to get started and am learning more about it. However, I am pretty much grain free–that is, with the exception of tasting my traditional and gluten free baking with recipe development, LOL. Best wishes for a joyous and meaningful holiday season and New Year! xoxo (hugs & kisses for Leo, too!)

  9. 9

    Winnie — December 30, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

    Hi Stacy,
    I haven’t yet baked with Einkorn flour but I really want to! I can’t find it around here but I am going to order some from amazon really soon. I bet you our diets are fairly similar…I call my diet “paleo-esque” because I do eat just a bit of gluten and other grains :)

  10. 10

    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — December 27, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

    Winnie, this soup looks lovely. I’m adding it to my winter soup-making schedule! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy (almost) new year!

  11. 11

    JulieD — December 31, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    Looks so beautiful, Winnie! Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season and your 2013 is a great year! My heart continues to go out to those affected by the Newtown tragedy. xoxo

  12. 12

    Fiona — January 1, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    My family had turkey as part of our Christmas dinner, and I was debating with myself on whether to make stock from the carcass. Luckily I saw your recipe and it pushed me into action! Thank you for the reminder of how easy and resourceful it is to make homemade stock!

  13. 13

    Cheryle Potterf — January 7, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

    Hi! This recipe looks great. I’m new to cooking with lentils, so I’m wondering if I can substitute red lentils for the green?

    Thank you!

  14. 14

    Winnie — January 10, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    I personally wouldn’t use red lentils in this particular soup, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work here. Hope you give them a try!

  15. 15

    Julia — January 31, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    I was looking for a lentil soup recipe to try out and saw yours. It looks delicious. I was wondering have you ever tried freezing lentil soup? I like trying to make a little extra for leftovers, lunches, or a busy night and I am not sure how lentil soup would hold up in the freezer.

  16. 16

    Winnie — January 31, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    Hi Julia,
    I freeze all my soups, including lentil soup, and they are all fine when defrosted. Hope you give it a try!

  17. 17

    Kirstin from ourGFfamily — May 4, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

    I really really relate to your saying…
    “It’s never been more clear to me than now that when the world scares and saddens me, I retreat to my kitchen. It’s a place where things make sense. It’s where I feel happy and safe.”

    It is hard to know what to do when things veer off course and tragedy strikes but making dinner and cooking seems to make things feel normal and somehow okay even though it all seems unbearable.

  18. 18

    Meal Plan Monday #26 - We Got Real — July 1, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    […] Dinner:  Nourishing lentil soup (with garden collards and carrots),fruit […]

  19. 19

    Natalie — March 8, 2014 @ 6:58 pm

    This soup looks SO delicious! I’m a big fan of lentil soup as my spanish grandma was a goddess in the kitchen and loved to make soups. But I’m always looking for new lentil soup recipes, now that I love to cook myself. So I will def give this a try very soon. Thanks!!