Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recipes for Writers: Turkish Lentil Soup

Writers have to balance their time effectively--we spend too much time in other worlds to waste on fussy recipes in our kitchens (unless we *want* to.  For funsies).  So, a quick, easy, freezable, delicious soup to get you through fall:

Why is this good for writers?  It involves minimal prep work--chop an onion and mince some garlic.  You can handle that in the ten minute break you need between writing scenes, right?  And then it just...simmers.  You can enjoy delicious smells wafting from your kitchen while you edit, right?

1 stick of butter (oh yeah, butter!)
1 large or 2 little onions
6 cloves garlic
3 cups lentils (standard size bag)
12 cups vegetable broth or stock (or--I use Better than Boullion soup base.  Much cheaper unless you've made your own veg stock)
6 oz can tomato paste (the little can)
Spices: 2 t each cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, salt, black pepper
Herbs: 3 T each mint, oregano, parsley (I use extra mint!)

First, stop writing.  Find a problem to work out with your plot or your character development.  Muse it over while you chop the onions and mince the garlic.

Melt butter.  Add onion and cook until soft, then add garlic and cook a little longer.  Add the lentils and broth, tomato paste, and spices.  (NOTE: This will yield a moderately spicy soup.  If you like spicier, kick it up a notch; if you like milder flavor, downplay the red pepper and cumin.)

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer until you have soup instead of watery lentils.  (Believe me, you'll know.)

Go back to writing--see if you can write a sparkly new scene or revise that problem you were musing on earlier right out existence while the soup simmers.  You've got a couple hours--use it wisely.

Add herbs at the end of cooking

I serve this with homemade foccacia bread whenever I find time to bake.  It yields about four meals for me and my husband--we'll eat it twice and freeze the rest for later.  Which is another awesome resource for writers--when you can pull a meal out of the freezer, you get to spend a little longer with your characters.  Unlike packaged frozen meals, this is unprocessed and inexpensive!

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow! I've never made homemade soup before. I can see how it would be relaxing!