Indian Spiced Red Lentil Soup

October 28, 2016

I have such mixed feelings about the last week of October. On the one hand, I’m relieved that the most jam-packed, freakishly busy month of the year is almost over for Chez T., because by October’s end, we’re all exhausted.

On the other hand, I’m so sad to see October go on many levels. October is such a show-offy month for Colorado with the landscape bursting into red, orange, yellow glory. It’s nature’s equivalent of fireworks, and every time I leave the house (usually with Mozz-man in tow), it takes my breath away. By now, though, the zenith of that beauty has passed, and the trees are starting to look kind of lonely and naked, like they’re waiting for winter. And we know it’s coming.

You know what’s also coming? The holidays.

Usually I can take this realization with a grain of salt, because even though I know holidays=chaos, it’s okay because also holidays=time with family and loved ones. But this year. Gaaa, cue the heartbreak.

You guys, I don’t know how we’re going to bear this. I just don’t.

Thanksgiving is the easier to stomach of the holidays, because we’ll be in Maui–all of us–scattering ashes into the Pacific and taking early walks on the beach and remembering how much Hawaii means to our family. Something about those islands just calls to us, lures us back, begs us to drink it in and cherish each others’ company.

It also doesn’t hurt that I am famously scathing in my criticism of Thanksgiving vittles, so I am not going to miss the turkey, stuffing and other bullshittery at all. Daddy-o has already picked out our Thanksgiving day restaurant (because they serve his beloved ^^^ traditional fare) but I am ecstatic because I can eat poke instead. Hey, if a girl wants raw fish on Thanksgiving, she’s eating raw fish. That part’s gonna be awesome.

But holy shit, Christmas.

Christmas might kill us. Because of all of us, kids included, Mama loved Christmas the best. She loved everything about the season and the minute the Thanksgiving leftovers were eaten, she became giddy with delight. She decorated every inch of her house (seriously–it looked like an exploding Santa in there), and always came up to help me decorate mine, because I am incredibly decorator-challenged. She was the one who took painstaking care wrapping gifts, making them look as festive as possible. She was the one in charge of the goodies in the stockings and Christmas dessert.

I can’t really imagine Christmas without her, but we don’t have any choice but to plod through the season as best we can. We might do an okay job of it or we might do a super crappy job of it. I guess we’ll figure it out as we go.

Until then, we’ll focus on boo-ing and spooking our way through Halloween and getting through November. We’re in for a huge treat weather-wise this Halloween; temperatures are going to be in the low 70’s, which is ridiculously warm for us. Most times, the girls are grudgingly donning jackets and sometimes mittens and boots before heading out to collect their loot, but this year’s going to be lovely. Although both girls are bummed that the holiday falls on a Monday, and I don’t blame them.

I’m happy to report that this week has been hurl-free for me, but I am dealing with pesky bouts of indigestion and heartburn. I haven’t had heartburn like this since I was pregnant, and let’s face it, that was a long time ago. I daresay I haven’t missed it. I might have to make another batch of lentil soup to put out the fire in my stomach. All of the spices and aromatics in this soup really do go a long way to ease what ails you if you have a touchy tummy. It’s comfort in a bowl, and good for you. Plus, it’s quite a pretty fall shade of orange, don’t you think?

Hope you readers have a happy holiday weekend, and post those pictures of the kids on social media if you get the chance. I always love seeing what y’all come up with. I’ll see you in November!



Indian Spiced Red Lentil Soup

makes about 1 1/2 quarts


2 tablespoons olive oil or butter

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

2 ribs celery, sliced into chunks

3 shallots, quartered

2 cups fire-roasted canned tomatoes

1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any pebbles

1 quart reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro and plain Greek yogurt, to serve


In a large stockpot, heat oil or butter over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger and spices (cumin through red pepper). Stir and cook until slightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add carrot, celery, shallot and crushed tomatoes and cook for about 4 minutes. Add lentils and chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lentils are falling apart. Remove from heat. Cool slightly and blend–either with a conventional blender or with a hand-held stick blender. You can puree soup totally or leave a few rough bits for texture. Stir in coconut milk and 1 teaspoon salt and return to heat to warm through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie October 28, 2016 at 6:30 am

I have been on a soup kick lately making several a week. This one calls to me!

The holidays are going to be hard this year. No way around that. But I know you will also find them extra special in that you will pull those around you super close and love each other fiercely. I’m here for you. Always.


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me October 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

Always looking for new soups. This looks amazing. Thinking if you as you head into this tough ” first ” without your mom. I know you’ll find a way to make it special and honor her love for it.


Dianne October 29, 2016 at 12:14 am

I have been reading your blog for years, but never comment. I may have once☺
Living with grief through the holidays is just unbearable and I wish you and your family strength to get through.
Just commenting to ask if you have ever tried the Kefir cleanse. I have lived with severe reflux/heartburn for years, there were so many foods that burned my throat that I was hoarse and foods like ground beef, pizza and a few others made me vomit it was so bad and I was on medication for it for years, until last year my hair was falling out, my nails broke and tore and looked like I bit them. Google research led me to believe it was the Nexium I was on for reflux. Then I came across the kefir cleanse. I did it a year ago and stopped the medication and only get reflux if I eat too much chocolate, which I couldn’t eat at all and if my diet is too gluten heavy.
If you google Kefir cleanse it is all over the the interwebs, it is kefir with flaxseed flour over 3 weeks, increasing the flaxseed each week. It must be kefir cultured and not kefir you can apparently buy ready made in stores in the US.
I am not one for fads and live by seeing is believing, but it honestly worked for me. I used to eat Gaviscon like sweets as well because the heartburn was so bad. The kefir cleanse is not pleasant at all, but I figured nothing is as bad as reflux, hot burning larva spraying right up your throat at night when you sleeping.I did the cleanse again last month and now just drink kefir most days that I culture, but without the flaxseed. It is like plain yoghurt, just more tart.
Sorry for the long comment and unsolicited advice, but when I read about your digestive problems I think of what I went through.


Dana Talusani October 29, 2016 at 11:23 am


Thanks for your comment! I’ll be Googling it for sure–I am finding this heartburn really annoying!


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