Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good for the Heart: Moroccan Bean Soup

Well, it's flurrying here again ... as it did yesterday, and on Saturday.  Those of you who were patiently waiting for an update on snow: the flurries seemed to happen around my birthday this year rather than on it.  I'm not sure if that counts for the record books or not, but it's immaterial to me ... I still enjoyed the little taste of winter, which changed the way that the world looks for a little while.

Despite the chill in the air, I got a warm hug from msfitzita in the form of the Cherry On Top award!  Thank so much, msfitzita, for including me on your list of "five wonderful women who always manage to say something that makes me smile, cry, nod or laugh - sometimes all in the same post"!  This was sweet of you.

We all know how these work: I have to link back to the person who awarded me (do go read her blog), and then pick five blogs to pass the award along to. Make sure to comment on the awarded blogs so they know they’ve been picked.

Just a handful of amazing women I know, whose stories have moved me, and who inspire me to be a better human being (and please don't take offense if you're not on the list ... when I get an award I try to share the wealth so that all of the wonderful bloggers I read feel the love ... see the Versatile Blogger award post for some other blogs worthy of your reading time):

So all in all, it was a good birthday: the 4-year old party in the morning was as sane as those kinds of parties at indoor play-places get, I got to go to the indoor market and visit my friend the artisan chocolate truffle maker (who, to my surprise, took my advice for adding more spices to his pumpkin caramel truffles seriously enough to change his recipe!), took a nap in the afternoon while I. was napping, went to dinner at a new restaurant where the food was both delicious and reasonably priced, and then bundled up to watch our town's holiday parade, full of floats and fire trucks and Girl Scouts dressed like presents and penguins.  My father-in-law sent me desperately needed new socks, my mother-in-law sent me note cards, my husband gave me gorgeous new pottery (I am such a sucker for pottery) and an extension tube for my food photo hobby, my brother gave me new running shoes, and my amazing creative sister in law made me a tote bag with fabric she bought in Paris.  I didn't have to eat any chard or clean up any pee on the floor.

It's funny, though ... I was looking in the mirror yesterday, thinking to myself that I really am older.  Not that I've turned all that much older overnight, of course, but 37 feels different than my early 30s.  I'm a little wizened, a little more tired, a little more jaded, perhaps.  But my world is much more expansive, too.  Even the bloggers I've met through this community have changed my perspective; I've had few female role models in my life, and honestly, so many of the women whose blogs I read inspire me to be a better person.

I don't typically make birthday or new years' resolutions, because I feel like they're artificial, and I have a hard time keeping them.  But last year when I "didn't-resolve" to blog and to "join a community of people who would help me finish the baking," I found this space and all of you.  I wrote a while ago about wanting a new gig ... that still applies, and perhaps this is the year that I will find clarity about my next calling.

You all know, of course, the rhyme about beans.  "Beans, beans, good for the heart, the more you eat, the more you ..." well, I promised not to be obscene here, and there is the other version about "the musical fruit" and "the more you toot."  But I thought I'd post this recipe today, because I'm hoping for a new year in my life that is good for the heart: a new child to learn about who will teach me to parent and to love all over again, purpose and direction in my life's work, more writing and creating, friendships on and offline that continue to grow and develop, wishes and hopes and dreams of all of my friends and loved ones fulfilled.  Here's to 37; I'm raising my bowl of beans to you--may you be good for the heart.

Moroccan Bean Soup

1 T. olive oil.
2 chopped onions
2 garlic cloves minced
1 t. peeled and grated ginger
6 c. water
1 c. lentils
1 (15oz) can garbanzos, rinsed/drained
1 (19oz) can cannellini beans
1 (14.5 oz ) can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
1/2 c. diced carrots
1/2 c. celery
1 t. garam masala
1/2 t. ground cardamon
1/2 t. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 t. ground cumin

Saute onions, garlic and ginger in 1 tbs olive oil for about 5 min or until translucent.  To the sauteed onion add lentils, carrots, celery, tomatoes, garbanzos, cannellini beans.  Cover with 6 cups of water, and add the spices.  Bring to boil for a few minutes, lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft.  Puree half the soup in the food processor (or whole soup if you want it smooth), return to the pot, stir and enjoy.
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  1. You know you're a true grownup when not having to clean up any pee on the floor is the sign of a good birthday. :) It sounds like you had a great birthday! I would love to see a pic of the bag your SIL made you...sounds awesome.

  2. Sounds like a fantastic birthday. Funny how our idea of a "good" day has changed over the years, hasn't it? I'd LOVE if someone got me new running shoes for my birthday, but alas, that's something I do on my own. Eh well! :)

    And thanks for the callout. Much appreciated, since lately my posts have been so raw. Not for everyone, I know.


  3. I think your birthday sounds so lovely, especially the napping. :)

    And I'll count the snow, it was pretty close to your birthday after all.

  4. Sounds like a lovely birthday indeed! As always this was such a beautifully written post, you are such an amazing blogger! I LOVED all your hopes for the new year and hope that each and everyone one of them comes true for you my friend! Thank you for the thoughtful award.

  5. Congrats on the award lovely lady and yeah for pottery and camera equipment!

  6. Aww, shucks! Thanks for the award. My 2nd in a week. It might not be the same as winning races...but it feels pretty nice to think that someone else thinks enough of you to give you a public salute.

    With age come lines and grey hair, but it also brings greater compassion and understanding of humans and all their foiboles, more knowledge, and well, improved cookign!!

    Dang, the bean soup looks great!

  7. happy belated birthday!! three cheers for not having to clean up pee on your natal day!

    & we're having this soup tonight. i'm beginng to think i'll no longer plan dinners, but instead will just turn to your blog to see what we're having. ;)

  8. Sounds like a very good birthday. And being in your late 30s does feel different from your early thirties. I think expansive is a very good word. It's a different place, and a different lens. Thank goodness:)


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