Thursday, October 7, 2010

Barley Lentil Soup

For those of you who are here for food and want to me to cut right to the chase- here yah go.  I understand sometimes I am like that, blah blah blah, just give me the food.  Other times, especially when I have a cup of tea I read everything on everyones blog, loving every minute of it.

For those of you who like cats and want to hear me jabber, read below for a real Tom Cat Story.

Barley Soup Mix
This is one of those soups you can package in a pretty jar and give as a gift, with the instructions for soup.

1/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup green split peas
1/4 cup red lentils
4 beef or chicken bouillon cubes (I used my vegetable bouillon cubes that I have in the freezer)
2 teaspoons instant onion flakes ( I used a real onion)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (as you can see I used fresh)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder ( again fresh is better)
1 small bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon thyme (again fresh)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper crushed
1 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped

Saute onion, carrots and celery in a large soup pot with a tablespoon of canola oil. Meanwhile rinse barley, peas and lentils, until water runs clear. When onions are translucent add the beans lentils and barley to the pot with five cups of water, seasonings (except basil), and vegetable bouillon.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer soup slowly. Cook one hour and fifteen minutes. until barley is softened.

The Pretty Kitty Story-

Let me start off by saying that I am allergic to cats.  I hate it because I would probably have had one by now.  I had one as a child growing up but near the end of her life I started having allergies that gradually became much worse after her passing.

I feel for my kids because I want so much to give them a dog or a cat.  I feel like I am cheating them out of some special love that you can receive from a pet.  No, I am not willing to take drugs unnecessarily to have a pet.  And yes I have checked into low allergen pets.

Anyway, something magical has happened.  A cat who I have seen many times over the past couple years patrolling my backyard for moles and rabbits and what nots, came to our door. He was there one summer day in August, sitting by the patio door, meowing, wanting something from me.  I poured a small amount of milk in a bowl and went to give it to him on our back stoop.  As soon as I opened the screen, he bolted into our house.  He came in and I moved his bowl inside.  He visited for a time and then left.  A week or so later he was back.  We gave him more milk.  He started coming more regularly.  Just recently I gave him some chicken gizzards- more on that at another time.  And he fell in love with me.  Not for me, per say, but for my chicken gizzards.  The longest he has stayed at our house is three hours.

I am pretty okay allergy wise for that time, so it is totally cool.  The kids get to pet him.  I don't have to clean a litter box.  I don't have to pay vet bills.  Totally. A very perfect arrangement.

I did start wondering where our friend was from.  He has no collar.  One day I saw him walk home to our neighbors a few doors down.  My husband and I went to their house for a visit. Just to make sure everything was cool.  They told us that "Shag" was kind of a community cat.  They can not keep him at their house.  They have other cats and he is not really interested in divided attention.  He wants to be loved completely and they also said that he does not want to be fed Friskies either.  A previous neighbor use to give him tuna and milk.  I think he will be coming around more now that he knows he can get some good eats at our house. Such a guy.


Mary said...

I love the soup and your story had me smiling. Under optimal conditions cats are not grateful creatures. I live with one who I swear is bipolar, but she'll live longer than me. Have a great night, Lori. Blessings...Mary

Mexico in my kitchen said...

That cut to the chase thing makes me smile. I do not know what part of the country are you but here is getting really nice-cool. And I had been thinking on lentil soup too. My husband has also requested it once this week. I will have to cook it soon.

While reading your cat story my Fox red Lab is sleeping at my feet. Cats and dogs are good company for us humans. :)

Have a blessed day, Lori.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I'm a little bit allergic to cats too; but they are just so adorable. As for you soup, it looks hearty and is healthy. Which ticks all my boxes!

kat said...

We'd have a pet too if Matt wasn't so awfully allergic but luckily like you our neighborhood has a community cat as well. She loves to come & sit with us in our garden & get a few pets

Jacqueline said...

I loved your soup and your cat story. I am pleased you can enjoy your little visitor without suffering. Cats are such a joy :)

vanillasugar said...

i am owned by an alley cat. yep a true blue alley cat that adapted very well to being inside now. he is the tater tot, and we are thrilled to bits to have him here. you'd never know he was an alley cat. i guess all those years of living on the street he's happy to be inside, warm & comfy.

suzybel56 said...

Love the soup and the cat is adorable!! I have had cats (Siamese & regular) all my life & recently lost Muffy. She was a doll & 17 years old.