Saturday, November 12, 2011

Three bowls of soup and a baby (well, not yet)

"The only way to expedite things is to have sex.  Oh, and nipple stimulation," my doctor said.  This is possibly the least sexy thing you can hear in an examination room with your doctor rummaging around your cervix.  (And a great opener to a simple soup blog post!)

For the past three weeks I've been dilated at a measly 2 cm, which means...nothing.  For the past two weeks I have been 70% effaced (effacement measures the thinning and softening of the cervix), which means...nothing (but you gives you a freaky mental image).  For the last four weeks the baby has been "fully engaged", meaning it's at 0 station, or as far down in the birth canal he or she may go, and is "lock and loaded".  Apparently this doesn't mean too much either.  The baby can come today, or weeks from now.  I am due in four days.  

Now, first babies being late is normal, but let's get something straight, here: exactly one week after my due date is Thanksgiving.  This bambino will NOT mess with my turkey dinner.  Nothing keeps me from my stuffing, damnit.  

Speaking of food, I've been doing less cooking but whipped up a simple Moroccan stew tonight.  I love soups and stews because they are 1) healthy, 2) inexpensive, and 3) yield enough for at least 2-3 dinners (aka cater to my lazy-ass-ness).  Of course, I make any stew less healthy serving it with baguettes (or tortilla chips if it's any sort of chili).  It's just the Kathryn way.

Moroccan Stew

Recipe courtesy of
****I doubled the spices, and didn't really measure anything.  But I guess that's the beauty of stews.  The original recipe is below.

1 cup French green lentils
3 bay leaves
2 whole garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed hot chile flakes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and
cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (8 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup plain yogurt (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1.Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the lentils, bay leaves, and whole garlic cloves. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer lentils until they are cooked but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Place lentils in a bowl; toss with olive oil, thyme, and 1 tablespoon chopped garlic. Remove bay leaves and whole garlic cloves; set aside.
2.Heat 1 tablespoon olive in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant. Add garlic, onion, celery, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, and squash; cook 3 or 4 minutes.
3.Mix in the lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas, and vegetable stock. Raise heat to medium-high until stew just begins to boil; reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the chopped parsley. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt, some chopped mint, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

This stew is easy and inexpensive; lovely meatless wonder with the addition of the chickpeas!

I can't begin to describe the warm aromas when you add the spices (particularly the cinnamon).  Such a great one-pot Sunday supper.

Take me to Marrakesh, baby!


  1. Yay! Can't wait to hear the big news! Good luck this week!

  2. Thanks! Let's hope today is the day. Or tomorrow. Heck, or Tuesday. Just sometime SOON!