Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hearty Lentil Soup

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 parsnip, scrubbed and diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 dash soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and mix in the onions, carrot, parsnip, celery, potato, and leek. Stir over a medium heat.
  2. Place lentils, tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, a splash of the soy and Worcestershire sauces and wine in the saucepan. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.
  3. Remove the bay leaves from the soup. Stir in the cilantro and serve.

mom_of_4: I made this today and it makes a lovely soup. As usual, I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so instead of red wine I used some beef stock; left out the soy sauce, green onions, potato, and cilantro; and used canned lentils instead of dry. I'm not a big fan of the parsnip in the soup - it tasted like a woody carrot. Maybe that's what they taste like. Anyway, I would like to try it again using all the ingredients. It definitely needed the potato to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.

Decisions, Decisions

(The Riverwood MOM's Group has graciously allowed me to be a contributor to their blog. This is what I posted there today.)

I've been thinking a lot about faith lately. There are so many of us who are facing big decisions right now and I don't know about you, but until recently I would agonize over them, paralyzed with fear that I would make the wrong decision. Like God was sitting in front of me knowing which way I should pick and waiting to see if I would choose the right one.

Friends, that is so far from the truth.

God wants us to be active in our decision-making, confident and assured (James 1:6) that He will never leave us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5), that He is infinitely patient with us and ready to correct us if we are heading in a way that is less than His best for us. He wants us to boldly approach His throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), expecting His answer and His safety net if we don't choose wisely. I used to interpret that expecting good things from Him was putting an expectation on Him, that He had to deliver because I was believing in Him. And that never sat well with me, considering He is the Almighty and I am mere human.

However, God opened up for me the other day the realization that expecting Him to do good things for us is a reflection of our understanding of His goodness. That we expect Him to do good things for us because we know He is good and that He wants to, not because He is obligated to just because we have put our faith in Him. It's the difference between the expectations that are put on you and the faith that someone has in you because they know you. Your boss expects you to get your work done because you have to. Your best friend knows that you will help her because she knows you and the relationship you have.

It's the faith that's the key. Faith used to be an effort for me, an exertion of my will. But now I'm starting to see that it's a confident resting in the knowledge of the One who loves you and in the relationship you have with Him. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."

It is impossible to please Him without faith.

The Amplified Bible explains faith as "that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness." (Hebrews 10:22) Friends, you can't have faith in Him without knowing all these three things. A God of wisdom and goodness is a good friend but has no power to save. A God of power and goodness means well and can get things done but without wisdom it won't be in your best interest. A God of power and wisdom without goodness is the dictator that will always be making you eat your vegetables and never let you have dessert.

That was the God I was serving before He opened my eyes. And once I started to receive a revelation of how very good He is, I found I could make decisions with a lot more confidence. I came to the point where I had to decide if I believed the Word or not. If He says He is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1) and that He will never abandon me, then I can make a decision in faith that He knows my heart and He will catch me if I fall. And not only that, He will make everything work out to my good! (Romans 8:28)

Do you have a decision you are wrestling with? Consider laying it down before the Lord and boldly expect Him to give you an answer as you step out in faith knowing that your relationship with Him and knowledge of His power, wisdom, and goodness will never lead you astray.