I have been brought up on sweet breakfasts: cereals, breads with honey or jam, etc. A boiled egg was probably the most savory thing I could have before noon. Fried meat or eggs that early in the morning were never my cup of tea.

Now all this doesn’t apply when you get up at 4am to run a Half Marathon at 6.30am, as this is what I did last Friday. By 9am after a long and energy-consuming race that had you running for 2 hours or so, you need to replenish. Not with just fresh fruit and a nibble. Bring on the grilled chicken, fish on skewers, garlicky salads, hummus. You want salty, savory, bold flavors: a sign that you have lost minerals during the race. So at around 9am, I was digging into all this: grilled fish, chicken, hummus, bean salads, boiled eggs, etc.

I have noticed that my sweet tooth has taken a bit of back seat since I started my Marathon Training. I still like to grab a muffin or a piece of fruit every now and then, but more often than not, I eat a bowl of hummus with crackers or go look for some leftover chicken or a big chunk of cheese in the fridge. Hearty things are being called for.

This hearty vegetable soup I have made about once per week in the the last month or so. It’s a good fridge cleaner soup, as you can throw in whatever veggies you have at hand. Red lentils make it nicely thick, so that it gets stew character. But the best are the herbs and spices: fennel, cumin, thyme, and paprika. No stock is needed to make this soup tasty. The other good thing is that this soup can be on your table in about 30 minutes. A good weekday dinner, and good to make in advance as it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. My new favorite.


Print Recipe

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced1 large carrot, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
5 celery stalks, diced

2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 tablespoon ground paprika
5 cups water

1 dried bay leaf

1/3 cup red lentils

fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Serves 3-4

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and chili flakes and fry until the seeds start to pop. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened.

Add carrots, green beans, celery and potato. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Sprinkle with paprika and add tomato puree. Stir well and pour water over the vegetables. Add bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes on high heat, until veggies start to soften.

Add lentils and simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are cooked. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary and sprinkle with parsley. Remove bay leaf. Ready to serve.


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