the longer the days start to become, the more light my brain is allowed to siphon into its infinite jest. intentionally i’m staring at the calendar with poise and alert, as if now of all times do the days have a deeper anchor and weight. some dates circled, some squared, some sugar coated, others raw. plans have meaning, meandering has purpose, and dusk has resurfaced in my life as my favorite time of day. i feel taller, longer, fuller, and always open to possibility. the criteria for smiling is a short list, blink and you miss it. we are gaining momentum, the trees are sneakily budding, and the sky is openly burgeoning into more sky. what we squeeze from the soul is pumped from the heart.
knock on wood, i haven’t gotten sick this season. i had a foggy autumnal episode back when the air started to change, but otherwise the days have been good to me. but the season is still upon us, inspiring a steeped and golden broth to help collect feeling whenever it may be lost. a deep soak of garlic and ginger, kissed with sage, celery, and roasted lemon. the broth alone will waken your core, but to this preparation i’ve added lentils, spinach, and sesame roasted peanuts – all welcome additions.
- 2 heads garlic
- 2 inch piece of ginger (unpeeled is fine)
- tops of 2 celery stalks (leaves included) and 1 stalk of fresh sage
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup green lentils
- 5 oz fresh spinach
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- 2 tbl tamari
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- sesame seeds
- add 3 quarts of water to a medium soup pot. separate and smash garlic cloves from both heads of garlic. slice ginger into pieces. stack celery and sage and tie a small knot around it with kitchen twine. add garlic, ginger, and bouquet to pot and bring to a boil. reduce to a simmer, add lid, and boil 1-2 hours. salt and pepper to personal taste.
- preheat oven to 400 degrees. slice lemon in half and place on a small baking sheet, both cut sides down. roast 20 minutes, until flesh is golden and tender.
- toss peanuts with tamari and sesame oil and splay on a roasting sheet. roast for five minutes. sprinkle with sesame seed. set aside.
- strain and discard ginger from soup (reserve for other projects, if desired) keep garlic cloves. remove and discard bouquet. press roasted lemon juice into soup. add lentils to soup pot and continue to simmer, lid on, for a final 35 minutes.
- the last 10 minutes stir in spinach to wilt. serve individual bowls of soup topped with peanuts and a dash of sesame oil.