This Red Lentil Rosemary Beet Soup is cold weather comfort food at its healthiest! Stunning on the table, but also creamy, flavorful, and perfectly delicious!
In case you were wondering what it is I do all day, I’ll tell you this: I take care of a baby. Sometimes there is Red Lentil Beet Soup, but mostly it’s all baby all the time lately. For the past nine months and four weeks to be exact. The situation has eased up some in the past month, now that the baby has learned to scoot around a bit and there have been small pockets of time in which he entertains himself with that. But, for the most part, my days revolve around baby.
I don’t think it was like this before, but I find that my memory is hazy and not just a bit selective when it comes to remembering my babies. I remember them all as being quite perfect, though I’m sure there were sleepless nights and crying and teething. I remember them sleeping on my chest and listening to me read Goodnight Moon in the rocking chair hundreds of times. I remember baby Esme’s funny worm crawl before she got the hands and knees coordination down. I remember Eila singing herself to sleep when she was just tiny. I remember Ada’s first word (up) and how she’d whisper it all the time. I remember them all perfect, if not perfectly.
I know it couldn’t have been as easy as I remember it because I was in graduate school when both Esme and Eila were babies and though I know I held office hours for undergraduates, wrote many papers, spent hours doing research and reading, and attended classes almost every day, I surely don’t remember how I did all that with babies. When Ada was a baby, I was transitioning into life as a single parent and living on my own with three kids, but the logistics of how I did that with a baby completely escape me now. I have been trying to remember though, wracking my brain. Especially now.
I wish I could use my past self, the one who clearly survived baby and toddler days and managed to get three kids out of diapers and off to school, as a guide for the baby days I now find myself in. I could really use some advice from that incarnation of myself about what I did right or wrong and how I managed to get from A to B. That self made it through grad school, but this current version of me cannot make it through the laundry pile.
It’s a tricky situation. I love this baby like crazy. He’s perfect, really and truly, and experience tells me I’ll probably remember him that way too. But for heaven’s sake, he wants so much from me. I hear he’s better for other people, doesn’t cry if they leave the room, will actually fall asleep without being held. Knowing that, however, only makes it worse for me. Perhaps I have caused this needy baby situation. I worry that maybe he needs so much from me now because he could feel all of my ambivalence and fear during pregnancy. Maybe because I didn’t think I could do this and didn’t want to do this for so many months, maybe now he is insecure in my love for him even though I really am so happy he’s here after all. I’m giving him my whole heart. What if he doesn’t know that?
But even as I’m worrying that I’ve really screwed this up and that I have failed this baby in some fundamental way before we’ve really even begun, I remember something my friend Katie Shafer told me a few years ago. I was worrying about something with Esme and expressing my concern that this problem was because I was divorced. What if I was forcing my children into the scary statistics of poorly raised products of divorce? I saw doom and drugs and teen pregnancy and failed education on the horizon. This troublesome behavior of Esme’s was surely a single parent problem.
But maybe it’s not, Katie said. Maybe it’s just normal kid stuff.
And when Esme grew up just a little bit more and the problem completely corrected itself, I realized Katie was probably right. It probably was just normal kid stuff. And the only divorce related problem had been my own. Because of the divorce, I was worrying more about my kids and seeing bigger problems than were really there.
So, though I can’t seem to conjure up the mother that I used to be for any advice and I’m clearly prone to worrying about my children, I’m doing my best to listen to Katie Shafer. Maybe it’s just kid stuff. And if it’s just kid stuff, everything will be okay.
Before I give you the recipe for this stunning Red Lentil and Rosemary Beet Soup, let me tell you some more kid stuff. This is some pseudo-advice that I do feel qualified to give. If you have girls and they are of the pink and princess loving variety, then this soup, which is full of beets and carrots and lentils, is just the thing. Adelaide, who is almost five and would normally not give a second thought and especially not a second taste to a veggie and legume soup like this, ate THREE bowls for dinner the last time I made it. Three bowls people. It’s all in the color . . . and I may have mentioned that it’s a recipe derived from pink princess loving royalty (ahem). Try it, it might work for you too. Also, serve it with a really delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Adapted from my much loved and well used cookbook, Feeding the Whole Family
Red Lentil and Rosemary Beet Soup
For those leftover Beet Greens, try these Baked Beet Greens Chips. And if you have beets leftover too, which you likely will if you buy them in a bunch, this Beet Green Chopped Salad is really delicious – I’m eating it for lunch these days.
Adapted from my much loved and well used cookbook, Feeding the Whole Family
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
Such a bright and gorgeous soup! Love the rosemary in there!
Soup is SUCH a hard thing t photograph yet you make this one look amazingly delicious!
From where I’m standing you are doing a great job as a parent. You are reflective, thoughtful and able to write these beautiful loving words. How is that not evidence of being a wonderful, caring parent?
I think it’s just something about boys. My son practially lived in the sling for 2.5 years as he’d scream the house down evertime his back touched a flat surface! And don’t even ask me how long he was breastfed!
When we think there’s nothing left to give and we’re exhausted, somehow there is more. Hang on in there girl 😉
P.S. Great to see you on Instagram
Nicolas - Sugar'n'Salé says
I am a French culinary blogger ( so excuse my English a little awkward ) and I came to see What did our friends across the Atlantic .
I am delighted by your blog , beautiful pictures and beautiful recipes.
Joanne B says
Lovely! Thank you. I’ll make it this evening. And by the way, you sound like a wonderful, thoughtful parent. Maybe too thoughtful!!
Katie Shafer says
Oh the irony!! I come to your blog and always take away such thoughtful wisdom about parenting. As I was reading your post, worrying about an issue with Calvin, I had to laugh at my own advice—it was just what i needed to hear! so I’m with you-im going to try and follow the same advice. It’s hard to not take responsibility for all the things kids do. I think it then makes me feel like I can change it because i caused it. I miss our visits; they were so nice.
Wow the color of this soup is out of this world! I may have to try this recipe to discover if the taste lives up to the expectations I have about it 🙂