There are 195 countries in this world, give or take a few. I’ve only explored a small percentage of this number and yearn to visit many more before hanging my hat. Therefore, I don’t plan on much back-tracking. Turkey, however, remains an exception.
Certainly it was the exotica, the stunning landscape and fascinating history that captivated me. And then, of course, there was the food. The open air markets and streets seem to burst with the bright, sunny flavors and perfumes of vegetables, spices, pomegranate, good olive oil, yogurts and grilled kebobs. When I was in Turkey, I knew I was in a country that loved food.
I can conjure some of these flavorful memories with a only few ingredients, using lentils as the foil. Lentil soups are a cinch to make. Brown some onions, carrots or celery, add lentils and stock, perhaps a bay leaf, and you have a healthy soup in about 30-45 minutes. I used red lentils, but the soup is actually more yellowish than red. Red lentils, unlike black lentils, or lentils du Puy, collapse and lose structure quickly– your lentils stop looking like lentils quickly. Don’t fret, just keep stirring and adding more stock if the soup is too thick.
Savoring the flavors in this simple soup, I thumb through my Turkish cookbooks for future recipe inspirations from this whirling dervishes of a culture.
Update: 1 cup of wild rice and 1 cup of farro both cook at the same time (as long as they’re not quick cook) and work great as a base for the chicken in this recipe, too. This morning we woke up to the first real snow of the year––good thing I’d purchased a chicken. … Full recipe post »
Coming off a four-week, super-intense editing of my next book, “The Welcome Home Diner”, a contemporary novel about two women opening a diner on Detroit’s east side. I get why writers isolate themselves during the process. I was assigned a well-seasoned editor determined to squeeze the best book that she could out of me. The verdict will be in the hands of … Full recipe post »
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