Today was One of Those Days. I worked in a frenzy all day, trying to meet deadlines and trying not to look out the window at the Beautiful Weather.
Then when work let out, I took my two-year-old for a walk around the lake. I completely misjudged both the temperature (it was Hot) and my daughter's ability to sit in the carriage for any length of time so I can get in some brisk walking (she can't).
By the time I reached the end of our just-barely-45 minute walk, toting my 30 pound baby in one arm and pushing a stroller with the other, I was hot and cranky. That was when we passed a female jogger. I'm all for staying cool in the summer, but there do have to be some boundaries. She was wearing Very Little. My daughter said it better than I could have (and certainly louder too): "Mommy. Naked lady!"
The point is, I needed some therapy this evening. For me, therapy arrived in the form of a CSA basket loaded with beets and greens.
As soon as I got my very tactful baby into bed, I set right to work scrubbing, soaking, roasting, chopping. Am I the only one who finds gritty beets (with their greens still attached!!) beautiful? Am I the only one who finds chopping and cleaning greens therapeutic?
This soup was a combination of lots of wonderful fresh ingredients that I've been wanting to put to use. The beet greens, of course, but also a lovely Vidalia onion and some super pretty red lentils I bought last week.
And a few sprigs of the abundant mint I have growing on my patio.
It was fresh and exquisitely flavored. Paired with a whole wheat pita bread, it made a satisfying dinner. I think I'm on the road to recovery.
Red Lentil Soup with Mint and Beet Greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
a dozen or so mint leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coriander
beet greens, removed from one bunch of beets (use the beets for something else), cleaned and sliced
1 small tomato, chopped
1 cup red lentils
1/3 cup bulgur wheat
1 egg, lightly beaten
extra mint, for garnish, optional
Heat the oil in a medium soup pot. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes, till translucent. Add the garlic and celery and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Now, add the mint, salt, and coriander. Mix well and cook for another minute or two.
Add the beet greens and cook for a few minutes till they are softened and heated through.
Add the lentils, bulgur and about 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a very gentle simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding water as needed if it seems too thick.
After the 1/2 hour of cooking, add the tomato and cook for about 10 minutes longer.
Immediately before serving, whisk in the egg. Serve, garnished with mint if desired.