The Holiday season is behind us but our Christmas tree is still up and some of Santa’s presents (unwrapped) are still laying under the tree – mostly because they are so ugly I’m not quite sure what to do with them! 😜
Anyway, this year Santa decided to surprise me with something totally unexpected. Something you cannot really unwrap but you can see, feel and touch, something that makes your clothes feel tighter and tighter as the day goes by.
A magical gift? Not really! I’m rather talking about 5 pounds of sneaky and vicious fat spread out all over my body!
With my parents over for Christmas, I wholeheartedly embraced the holiday spirit by practically eating non-stop and using any excuse that came to mind to ask Stefano to pop a bottle of bubbly. Considering that my body is not exactly in its twenties and my metabolism gets slower as we speak, it was only a question of time before I was called before my judgmental scale to answer for my culinary and drinking sins!
Facing the scale… what a painful experience! Are you familiar with the feeling? I wake up in the morning and lay in bed for a few minutes staring at the ceiling, without moving a muscle, realizing that I’ll have to face reality sooner or later. I know that I just have to find
the courage to step up on that unfriendly machine that I keep hidden in my closet hoping that that malefic hand – never sympathetic, let alone merciful – won’t confirm what my puffier face and my tight clothes have been whispering to me for days now.
Finally, after a couple of days of me being “food cautious”, that decisive day arrives: I step onto that thing with my eyes closed, I take a big breath, I open my eyes and my face involuntarily assumes a horrific expression! It’s even worse than I thought. My emotional
reaction? A bit of depression mixed up with a delusional determination that I’m going to lose those unwanted guests in a couple of weeks. After all, it took me only a month to gain my extra pounds. It’s going to take me much shorter to shed them! I wish, but deep inside I fear I’m totally delusional about that!
And then the “cutting out campaign” begins. It’s time to decide which kind of food is bound to remain on the shelf. I open my imaginary pantry and I start looking. First, the sweets department. No, nothing to cut out there. I don’t have a sweet tooth and I very rarely eat sweets. Relief. I then move my eyes towards the fruit and vegetable department: thank goodness, I don’t have anything to cut out there either. Even more relief. I know this is going to be my best bet and pretty much the only department I will allow myself to access for weeks to come! So I linger in there, pampering myself, with the only aim of procrastinating a painful decision. There won’t be any more relief coming my way. I can see my next department – the carbohydrate department – with the corner of my eye and all my favorite food calling my name for the last time. It is time for me to kiss bread, pizza and pasta goodbye – at least for a while. My heart is bleeding and my tastebuds are getting depressed already. :-(
To make a long story short, I’m in the middle of soup season. Not those light, watery soups that you usually have as an appetizer and that – after an hour – you feel like they have never been in your tummy. I’m rather talking about those rich, thick and satisfying soups that make you feel full from the end of your dinner until the time you go to bed. I think the soup in this post fits the bill beautifully.
I love legumes for their well-known nutrition benefits and they are perfect for dinner on a freezing winter night. I made this soup for the first time about a year ago (actually the photos that you see here date back to that night :-) ) and I found myself making it again during that big snowstorm that hit the East Coast last weekend.
Will this soup do the magic helping me losing weight? Only time will tell! In the meantime, here is the recipe!
1 Cup, chickpeas
1 Cup, white beans
1 Cup, lentils
1/2 Cup, farro
1 Tbsp, baking soda
1/4 Cup, chopped onions
1/4 Cup chopped celery
1/4 Cup chopped carrots
3 Tbsp, extravirgin olive oil
7/8 Cups, vegetable stock
Some leaves of sage
2 rosemary sprigs
Ground black pepper
Put the white beans, the chickpeas and the baking soda into a bowl. Soak the beans and the chickpeas overnight in cold water.
The day after, in a non-stick medium/large pot, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil, add the carrots, the celery, the onion and 1/4 Cup of water and sauté on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has completely evaporated.
Drain the chickpeas and the beans and add them to the vegetables. Add the lentils, 5 Cups of stock, some salt and pepper (to taste) and toss to coat.
Cook on a medium/high heat for about 35/40 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding some of the remaining stock little by little.
Reduce the heat, add the farro and keep cooking for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the rest of the stock. Taste the soup to check if it is necessary to add some salt.
Wash the sage leaves and the rosemary sprigs under running water thoroughly and dry them with paper towel. Strip the needles off the rosemary sprigs and chop them roughly.
Place the soup into serving bowls or plates, pour a bit of olive oil on top and garnish the soup with some sage leaves and chopped rosemary needles.
I’ll look at my calendar to pick a date for my next hypothetical “encounter” with the scale. Let’s try to think positive. Maybe this time, my enemy will show me some mercy! ;-)