Two weeks ago, our hearts were broken. Our amazing dog of 14 years, Bacon the incredibly insightful and sensitive pug, was finally released to the next realm. On November 9th of 2001, I adopted Bacon when he was a puppy of 8 weeks old. In truth, Bacon picked me, and I’m so grateful he did. At the breeder, there were 3 little pug puppies ready to be adopted. When we walked in to view them – he ran up to the gate, jumped up and begged to be held. When I put him back down – he howled until I came back and picked him up again. I was smitten. Our love was true from the start, and that little guy was my main man – we called him “the management” for almost 14 years. Through the end of college, my first job – where I was able to bring him to work with me, through a giant move to San Diego, through a divorce, a new relationship and 3 moves later…he has been my comfort and my soulmate. He brought me light and joy. I even wrote a song about this dog. No joke! (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)
Scott and I and Bacon’s little buddy Sofia (our surviving female pug in the bee costume) loved Bacon (the sensibly dressed pug) with all of our hearts and his leaving has left a huge hole in our household and in our daily routines. We would often start the day with the dogs hanging out on the bed and he would bark at us when he was ready for his food – quite demanding but adorable. He always had an irresistible bounce to his bark – his front feet coming off the floor to emphasize the urgency of his requests. I miss him banging on the pantry cabinets to get our attention and give him a treat. I miss his 4pm “restless dog hour” demands where, if I was on the phone, he would grab my pant leg or skirt and pull on it until I stopped and played with him. We will be missing this dog for decades.
Table of Contents
Lentil & Bone Broth Soup With Parsley Garlic Oil
- 1 pound dried brown or Puy lentils
- 1 large leek pale green and white parts only
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- To taste black pepper
- To taste Kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large about one cup carrot, peeled
- 2 quarts homemade or purchased low-sodium soup
- 2 tablespoons grated zest
- 2 tablespoons juice lemons
- 6 medium cloves of garlic
- In a medium bowl, mix the parsley, lemon zest, garlic, and half of the olive oil until well combined. Set aside after seasoning with pepper and salt to taste.
- Heat the remaining olive oil until shimmering in a sizable Dutch oven. Leeks, onions, carrots, and celery should be added at this point. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning regularly, until tender but not browned. Add half of the parsley-lemon mixture and stir-fry for about a minute, or until aromatic.
- Stir the lentils in the oil after adding them. Add stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a low simmer, cover with a slightly opened lid, and cook for approximately an hour, adding water as needed, or until the lentils are thoroughly soft and falling apart.
- Blend the soup in a hand blender until it reaches the desired smoothness. Alternatively, pour half of the soup into a standing blender, puree until smooth, and then stir into the remaining soup.
- Lemon juice is whisked in after which salt and pepper are added to taste. Serve, sprinkling additional lemon-parsley mixture over each portion. For up to 6 days, soup can be kept in the refrigerator.
But isn’t this a soup recipe? Yes, yes it is, but the eating of it will be richer when you have the whole context of it’s origins.
Sometimes when your heart gets broken, all you can do is try to nourish it back to health with warmth and kindness. I have often found that soup, broth based soups, are where this process of healing can begin both internally for your soul and internally for your body. When you’re grieving, you have to be kind to yourself, give yourself space, wrap yourself in soft blankets and above all, allow yourself to cry – something both Scott and I have been doing almost daily. As I sit here, writing this post and eating a bowl of this leftover soup (I added eggs for lunch), there are still tears streaming down my face – and I’m ok with that. For now at least.
So maybe it should be called “Cry as much as you need” soup instead? Whatever you call it, its bright, creamy, healthy and comforting and it will nourish you through hard days. I have even included a bit of turmeric for it’s anti-inflammatory properties – and it has really helped my ongoing neck and shoulder issues. It’s powerful stuff. The tears may still flow but I’m staying strong, focused and healthy – I know Bacon would approve – even through this loss, I’m learning new lessons from him – how to let go gracefully and look forward with joy and gratitude. I know his sweet little pug soul will always be with me – sitting there on that rug in the kitchen while I’m cooking, barking for a taste of the magical creations he “supervises”.