When you say, “take me to Paris,” for no other reason than because you love it there. And when you are taken there, to this place that gives you that feeling; the one Harriet I said I would always describe as overwhelment, then all you can be is thankful. And know that that person must love you a lot.
We’ve been on our honeymoon. We walk through the streets that are covered with crackling brown leaves, we linger in the aisles at the monoprix supermarket deciding if we would prefer haricots blancs; fresh or dried, and we ride our bikes on Sunday afternoons when it’s quiet and the streets are barely chattering.
And it smells like it used to smell here. All the air-conditioned air blown out on to the streets, the open-styled fish mongers displaying their morning catches on the pavements, and the whiff from four a.m baked baguettes that floats around my courtyard, up towards my apartment and through my open window that overlooks the roofs of Paris.
There have been so many more surprises here in this city than I expected to find...
We talk about relating and moving countries and living, not only in Paris, but in every day life.
I’ve been back from Italy for four sleeps and already we’ve had a moving-in-day, which actually turned in to a Nicoise Salad Lunch with Cereal Baguette. Not a bad substitution.
And then last night there was Curried Lentil Soup with Coriander and Movie Night. That one was most exciting, as it required a process which ended in relating with some one else. And isn't that what it is all about? How the process leads to the relating…
But how ever you like it, how ever you make it, make a thing of it. Because it is how well we go about dwelling in these kinds of processes, that then establishes how authentic we become to relate with.
Curried Lentil Soup with Coriander
I used water but if you want an even more full-bodied flavour-filled soup, then used vegetable stock.
Makes enough for two.
1/2 cups red split peas
3 cups water or vegetable stock
a large handful of broccoli florets
4 cm ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp and 1/2 tsp curry powder
7 saffron strands
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup coconut milk
small handful coriander
Wash your lentils and place them into a pot with about 3 cups of water (or stock) and a sprinkling of salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer.
In a dry pan, toast your curry powder until it has become richer in colour and very fragrant. Be careful not to burn it, stir the pan often. Once it is toasted nicely pour the powder in to a bowl and cool.
Dice your onion, 2 of your garlic cloves and half your ginger. Place the pan back on the element and add 1 Tbsp of butter. Add these vegetables and sauté until the onion is translucent. In the meantime, grate the left over ginger and carrot and place them both in with the lentils. Stir well and continue to simmer. Add your broccoli to the lentil mixture. Once the onion mixture is ready, add the tomato paste, raisins, ½ tsp of untoasted curry powder and the toasted curry powder. Mix well and sauté on low for another two minutes. Add this to the lentils, along with 7 saffron strands and stir well. At this point you want the lentils to be absorbing a lot of the liquid and becoming barely visible within the soup as they simmer. Continue to do this until the lentils are at your desired consistency, about twenty or thirty minutes. Next, add the lemon juice, coconut milk, sugar and a dash of salt and pepper. Taste. If you want it a little sweeter; add more sugar, if you want it with a bit more of a bang; add more lemon and so on. Dice the coriander and stir it through the soup. While all this is happening, in a separate pan add a small knob of butter, 1 diced garlic clove and your washed spinach. Cover for five minutes on low, then stir. Spoon the soup into two bowls, top with spinach, a splash of coconut milk and some fresh coriander leaves and cracked pepper.
Note: If you prefer your soups more liquidy, just add some extra liquid ten or some minutes before it is ready.