By Nick Polizzi
Guest writer for Wake Up World
A few days ago, I was having a tough afternoon. Without any thinking, I found myself walking into the kitchen, pulling out a bunch of vegetables and herbs, and filling a large metal pot with water.
Sometimes the heart knows what the mind does not.
Cooking is one of the most grounding and satisfying practices I know of. It might be because I grew up in a restaurant, but I have a feeling it’s something much deeper than that. When the world outside seems overwhelming, or you’re just feeling a little off, sometimes just putting your hands on raw ingredients and working with spice and temperature to create something nourishing can bring you into a state of much-needed connectedness.
When we’re in this mindset, we begin to see deeper meaning in the process. In this place of enlightened motion, seemingly mundane ingredients begin to reveal their subtle secrets.
At the heart of the sacred recipe below is one ingredient in particular that has quite a tale to tell: The lentil.
Known as Lens Culinaris, the lentil is one of the oldest food sources in human history. A vast majority of the ingredients we use today were cultivated after we humans settled down into agrarian societies and began planting and harvesting on a seasonal calendar. But there are some that were pivotal food staples of our ancestors long before that — I’m talking about primal foods that hunters and gatherers treasured for their taste and nutrition. The everyday lentil, as plain as it might seem, is a member of that special group of ancient foods. Evidence shows that hunter gatherers in Northern Africa and nearby regions of Asia consumed forms of wild lentils over 13,000 years ago.
And guess what? They’re LOADED with nutrition.
Dried lentils are 26% protein (one the most protein-rich legumes) and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, lysine, and folate. Plus, they have a ton of dietary fiber. It’s no wonder our distant forebears turned to them as a primary source of plant sustenance.
When you’re crafting the delicious soup below, keep in mind the not-so-ordinary history of each lentil that falls into the pot.
Savory Winter Lentil Soup
- 10 cups of water
- 5 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
- 4 tbsp of coconut oil or butter
- 3 stalks of celery
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 3 cups of french lentils (dry)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 bunch of swiss chard
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 tbsp of curry powder
- 2 tbsp of raw honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour 10 cups of water and 5 cups of stock into a large pot, on medium heat.
- Dice celery and onion.
- Peel butternut squash, slice in half, remove seeds and pulp, and dice.
- Chop swiss chard into small strips.
- Rinse lentils and remove any stones.
- Add celery, onions, squash, chard, diced tomatoes, and lentils to pot of heating water.
- Add curry powder, thyme, salt, pepper, bayleaf, honey and coconut oil.
- Once the water begins to boil, bring the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot.
- Cook for 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Ready to serve!
A little secret to make this soup even more delicious and nutritious:
- Add a half-teaspoon of coconut oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper to each bowl after it is poured.
Recommended articles by Nick Polizzi:
- The Art of Smudging: A Shamanic Cleansing Ritual
- Sacred Science: A Jungle Healing Technique You Can Use Anywhere
- Wired for Tribe
- 3 Wild Herbs for Lucid Dreaming
- Eye Gazing — An Exercise for Soul Vision
- A Sunrise Prayer to Start Your Day
- A Native Smoke Ritual For Renewal and Clarity
- 3 Ancient Medicines That Already Live In Your Home
- A Breathing Exercise to Take You Higher
- 2 Forgotten Healing Herbs of Christmas (Skin Balm Recipe Included!)
About the author:
Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of “The Sacred Science” documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.