It's easy, it's full of protein, fiber, and it's super cheap! A friend introduced us to Byzantine style lentil soup a while back. It's a little different than most lentil soups. It's made with dried apricots.
Hear me out, I'm not crazy. It's not going to taste like trail mix. It's really good. The apricots soften and impart their delicate flavor throughout the soup. Although lentil soup can be pretty boring at times, this one is just a bit more exciting. We're hoping to enjoy a warm bowl of this soup along with some pita and humous or babaganooj tonight. (Babaganooj, roasted eggplant dip, has already proven to be my Lenten obsession!)
Last night we had another Compline service with the Cannon. I love the kontakion sung after the sixth ode of the Cannon. As a musician, it reminds me of the "bridge" of a song. You know, you've heard the verse+chorus sequence multiple times then there comes a break. It's like the bridge wakes the listener up.
This kontakion is sung near the end of the service. If you're like me, your shoulders begin to slump at this point in the service. I start shifting my weight back and forth. I'm sleepy and starting to get distracted by anything and everything. My prostrations and metanias aren't nearly as neat as they were earlier in the night. I just get antsy. When the reader begins to sing the hymn, it gets to me every time.
"My soul, O my soul, rise up! Why art thou sleeping? The end draws near and soon thou shalt be troubled. Watch, then, that Christ thy God may spare thee, for He is everywhere present and fillest all things.”
Whenever I hear this sung, I'm brought back to the purpose of the service.
Another tradition (small "t" tradition) is to clean one's home during Clean Week. I began yesterday on my porch. The weather was lovely, so I was happy to be outside. I swept the mounds of leaves that had collected on my porch. Then, I washed my front door window. I then moved into my entry staircase and cleaned the many smudges from the walls and banisters. I even got inspired to hang some things on the walls. Today should bring the remainder of the house. My biggest projects are to clean out the fridge and my bedroom closet.
Although my Clean Week got off to a very rough start, I'm here now.
Tonight we're going to pray the Akathist to the Mother of God, it's like a reward for making it through Clean Week!
On to the recipe:
Byzantine Style Lentil Soup
2 meduim-large onions, diced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 cups (1 lb. bag) dry lentils, washed and sorted
10-12 cups water or vegetable stock (I used half water, and half vegetable stock. if you have all veggie stock it would be delicious.)
1 6 oz package of dried apricots, sliced
3 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Sautee onions with celery in oil until the onions are lightly golden. Add garlic and sautee for one minute. Add the liquid and lentils along with the apricots, carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat. Cook covered, stirring often, for 45 minutes to an hour. The soup should be thick, add more water if the consistency doesn't look right. Add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Enjoy!