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Have You Taken Your Pulses Lately?

“Pulses are part of the legume family, but the term “pulses” refers only to the dried seed. Dried peas, edible beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fibre, and are low in fat.” Eating pulses is very trendy. Just to be able to use the word pulses in a sentence earns you brainiac status. Getting on the pulses band wagon translates in a very satisfying comfort food dining experience. Makes you feel healthy and all warm and fuzzy inside.

When I was a young mother in my 30’s, my sister Connie and I would go out every Saturday for lunch and a day of shopping. We had so much fun. It was our get away to just enjoy ourselves with each other. One of the highlights of the day, was meeting at a place called “The Tea Cozy”. It was a ritual to order a homemade vegetable soup with pulses, fresh herbs and spices and Irish Soda bread. Then we proceeded to laugh while we ate until our sides ached. We would then have our tea leaves read. What a wonderful memory.

How Pulses Can Prove Delicious!

This “Chunky Yellow Red Lentil Soup” would be classified in the pulses category of nutrition. It is reminiscent of the lovely soups my sister and I indulged on our Saturdays together. The yellow beets and carrots make this soup naturally sweet and the spices enhance the natural vegetable flavours. Add some turmeric and the beautiful yellow colour makes this soup golden in so many ways.

Pair a bowl or a cup with a no knead freshly baked boule bread and you are in heaven. I am sharing these recipes with you so maybe you can wrap yourself in the feeling of being with someone you love, enjoying a satisfying bowl of comfort soup, all the while doing your pulses good.

Chunky Yellow Red Lentil Soup

Serves 8

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped 3 large carrots, large dice 1 ½ large yellow beets, large dice 8 cups of vegetable broth or water or both combined 2 cups red lentils 2 teaspoons turmeric 2 teaspoons cumin, freshly ground 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed, toasted, optional 2 teaspoons coriander, freshly ground 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground pink Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. In a large soup pot heat olive oil and sauté onions and garlic until just caramelized

  2. Add the broth, water, or both

  3. Add the carrots, beets, spices and lentils

  4. Bring mixture to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer for 25 minutes. Season with Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Adjust the spices.

  5. Serve with fresh bread.

No-Knead Crusty Artisan Bread

No knead rye bread to be enjoyed with pulses!

Yield: 1 small loaf (double recipe for a big one)

3 cups all-purpose flour ( or half all-purpose and half rye or multigrain) 1½ cups luke-warm water 1-2 tsp sea salt ½-1 tsp yeast*

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and using a wooden spoon stir together until the mixture resembles a shaggy dough.

  2. Cover dough with a plastic wrap and let sit in room temperature for 8-18 hours. Dough will bubble up and rise.

  3. After dough is ready, preheat oven to 450 F.

  4. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and with floured hands form the dough into a ball. Cover with the plastic wrap and let the dough rest.

  5. While dough is resting, put your dutch oven or pot (small or large depending on if you double recipe) into the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

  6. After the 30 minutes are up carefully remove the dutch oven and with floured hands place the bread dough into it. (You can put a piece of parchment under it if your dutch oven doesn’t have an enamel coating.)

  7. Replace the cover and bake for 30 minutes covered.

  8. Then remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Bread will be golden, crusty and delicious!

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