Bring yoga vibes into your life without having to attempt the downward dog. This Curried Chestnut and Lentil Soup is subtly spiced, creamy and satisfying.
Let me put a word out there.
What are we feeling?
Do you want to glide straight into a perfect Downward Dog? Show off your Eka Hasta Vrksasana with a smug little smile? Do a Sirsa Padasana without breaking a sweat?
I love yoga. I really do. Thing is, yoga has never loved me.
I will never forget the time I went to an intermediate Ashtanga class in my gym. I was feeling quite fit, had done some Pilates, some Zumba, some high energy aerobics. All without falling over, stepping on other people’s toes or otherwise embarrassing myself. I could vaguely recall that, years ago, I had also been to a Hatha yoga class. Once. Therefore, it felt completely justifiable to master intermediate Ashtanga.
A subtle inkling made me set up shop in the last row, furthest away from the mirrored wall. Just in case.
But when the teacher came in and everyone got up from their mats, I realised the last row was in fact the first row. Apparently, Ashtanga yogis do not need to admire themselves in the mirror like the LBT (LegsBumsTums) or the Fitbox people. They are above that kind of superficial stuff. They are nimble, fierce gods and goddesses with a wide open inner eye, balanced chakras and total control over their Bandhas (if you had to click this link I know you probably aren’t one of them).
And then there was me, right in front of their high priestess and ruining everyone’s flow. I am still sorry, guys.
A couple of years later I also got into Hot Yoga for a bit, inspired by a very fit friend. Attempting poses in a room heated to 42 degree is much easier for inflexible people like me. I made sure I was in the RIGHT back and managed to blend into the background nicely.
Hot Yoga is addictive, but a bit like a full time job. After sweating for 90 minutes you need another 90 minutes to cool down, drink 2 litres of water and re-gain your senses. Then you need to eat a gigantic meal. After which you have to take a nap. When you awake, you still fell a little dizzy and decide you should take it really, really easy for the rest of the day. You do feel FANTASTIC though. And that permanently steamed skin just glows.
You can guess. I lasted about two months and had no time or energy for anything else.
Now I go running.
Friends, there are other ways to open your inner eye and bring a yoga vibe into your life. Just try this amazing Curried Chestnut and Lentil Soup. It’s
- subtly spiced
- superbly satisfying
- a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B and folic acid (thanks to the chestnuts!)
- makes you feel like you’re in Shavasana. My most favourite pose of all.
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 150g red lentils
- 150g peeled and cooked chestnuts (you can buy this ready-made. Chestnut puree also works)
- 2 chicken legs and 2 chicken thighs
- Olive oil
- 1tsp mild curry powder
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1l vegetable bouillon
- ½tsp ground star anise
- ½tsp cardamom
- 1 bunch parsley
- Salt & pepper
- Heat your olive oil in a pan.
- Fry the chopped onion with the curry powder and other spices on a gentle heat for 5 minutes to let the spices activate.
- Add the chestnuts, lentils, vegetable stock and chicken pieces (skins removed). Put the lid on and cook for 30 minutes.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and shred the meat from the bones.
- Blend the soup with a hand blender until nice and smooth.
- Add the chicken back into the soup and re-heat if necessary.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with chopped parsley on top.