Taking refuge in my soup pot

I have this visceral reaction to lentil beans. They remind me too much of a childhood steeped in hippie-influenced health food: millet for breakfast, whole-grain sandwiches for lunch, eggplant casserole for dinner. No processed food, no refined sugar, very little dairy. For the rare dessert, we ate carob chip cookies.

The moral of the story is that now I have a ferocious hankering for Mint Milano cookies.

But I have also decided I need to get over my antipathy toward lentil beans. You know, give beans a second chance.

So, I made Lentil Sausage Soup this past Sunday. My Sabbath Day of Soup has turned into something of a spiritual journey. I wanted it to be meaningful. Reconciling myself with lentils seemed like a good place to start.

There was a lot of chopping involved--not that I minded. If you let yourself relax into it, prepping veggies for soup is rather meditative. I used a couple extra garlic cloves because, well, that's just what I do.

I ended up filling a large bowl with scraps. I guess I could have made vegetable stock with it, but I didn't think about that until after I'd thrown it all out. I seem to get my best ideas like way late. It's like thinking up the best comeback line while brushing your teeth at night.

When you make soup, there's always a chance some child won't like it. So you have to make something else, too. Everyone loves biscuits--even my pickiest eaters. I was feeling extra homey, so I made biscuits from scratch.

While I was making the biscuits, Matt came into the kitchen and started fiddling with the box that covers our door bell chime. Our door bell has been broken for months. I chopped, he fiddled. The twins came pounding in, wanting "snacks! snacks!" I doled out granola bars before dicing my cold butter into the biscuit mixture.

My boys were outside playing Lacrosse in the street. I watched them from the front window while I rolled out the dough. The biscuits turned out nicely. So did the soup.

I set the table and we all sat down together. The boys were sweaty (and stinky) from playing outdoors. The twins, having been awakened from a brief nap, were grumpy and disoriented. My oldest was exhausted from a birthday party. But we were all there. And that's what mattered most, I think.

Of course, one of my twins didn't like the soup. She wailed for most of the meal. Which was fine. It's hard to be three, sometimes. Especially after an interrupted nap.

Eventually she cheered up, especially when we offered her a buttered biscuit and told her there would be cake afterwards.

This made her happy. Until we told her she had to eat three bites of soup, first. She wasn't particularly excited about this.

But she relented. Most of us will do anything for cake, I think.

As for me, I'm happy just to have my soup and eat it, too. And I'm happy to report: me and lentils are on good terms again.

[I used Ina Garten's recipes for Lentil Sausage Soup and Chive Biscuits. Delicious!]