Thursday, November 19, 2020

Poetry on Thursday

Ryan and I talk often on the phone, and our conversations very often turn to food. It's one of the few joys that we can rely on to sustain us, make us happy, and give us something to talk about. We recently had a conversation about how to make lentil soup less boring. Ryan recommended kielbasa or chorizo, but he puts chorizo in lots of things. I wondered if there were poems about soup, and want to share this wonderful one with you today. 

Da Capo
Jane Hirshfield

Take the used-up heart like a pebble
and throw it far out.

Soon there is nothing left.
Soon the last ripple exhausts itself
in the weeds.

Returning home, slice carrots, onions, celery.
Glaze them in oil before adding
the lentils, water, and herbs.

Then the roasted chestnuts, a little pepper, the salt.
Finish with goat cheese and parsley. Eat.

You may do this, I tell you, it is permitted.
Begin again the story of your life.

Hirshfield, Jane. "Da Capo". The Lives of the Heart, Harper Perennial, 1997. 
You can read more about the poet here
And here is a recipe for lentil soup with chestnuts. I usually make my lentil soup with mushrooms, but since Jane wrote about adding roasted chestnuts, I think I may try this (if I can find a can of chestnuts at the grocery store). 

I wish you mindfulness, peace, good health, a pot of soup simmering on your stove, and some poetry as this week winds down.


  1. That is so much fun and it made me smile. Thank you!!

    Lentil soup with mushrooms sounds so good. And so does chorizo! I should make more lentil soup because it comes together so quickly.

    1. Thanks, Katie! It was cold and windy yesterday so I had lentil soup in mind to make, but no lentils. I ended up making split pea with kielbasa because I didn't have any ham, but all those ingredients are on my list for the next time I shop.

  2. Yum! I usually put smoked sausage in my lentil soup if I am going to add meat, but mushrooms and chestnuts sound good. If you make some with chestnuts, I request a report of this, Bonny! Soup is the most comforting thing I know of in the food world, although I am also fond of the comfort of mashed potatoes. Looks like the next couple of months may need a lot of soup! Great poem, Bonny.

  3. Lentil soup sounds so good right now! I think I'm the only one in my family who will eat it, though, so I usually get it at a restaurant if I eat it. The only soup we will all eat is chicken, which fortunately is one I enjoy making.

  4. Nice poem! We are big fans of Thug Kitchen's "Not Terrible Lentil Soup" around here. Someone copied the recipe here: It makes a reasonable amount so you don't have overwhelming amounts of leftovers. And it's good!

  5. I've never made lentil soup but the thought of mushrooms and sausage in there sound pretty delightful! Thanks Bonny!

  6. One of my favorite lentil soup recipes is for the Instant Pot (but could easily be made on the stove): I use chicken broth, so mine's not vegan but I like it better, and it's SO GOOD!! Next time I might try adding mushrooms, which I love, or chestnuts! Chestnuts usually show up in stores here around the holidays, so maybe you'll have some luck finding some soon.

  7. What a fun poem! We eat a lot of lentils - lol. Love them and love lentil soup. But, I'm not fond of chestnuts, so won't try that. Mushrooms sound like a great idea though. My lentil soup recipe from college days (The Vegetarian Epicure, Book Two) calls for the addition of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and cumin - really, really good. Especially with a hunk of hearty home made bread!

  8. What a great poem, so relatable! I like the idea of adding goat cheese to lentil soup, too.

  9. That sounds delicious!! (and I love Jane's poems!) But, talking food with kids is just the best! :)

  10. I love talking recipes and food with my kids. I called my mom for pork roast advice and spaghetti sauce recipes and everything as a newlywed

  11. my husband and I were talking about the same thing, all we have left is food :) We bought a duck which I guess will be our thanksgiving meal? or Christmas. I'm trying to think outside the box these days..

  12. My son and I often talk about food and cooking when he calls. He likes to cook and he likes garlic. He lived with us for a time while I was still working. It was a good evening when I pulled in the garage (attached to the kitchen) I could smell garlic. I have one recipe for lentil soup with kielbasa sausage and another with bacon. Jane H. is another of my favorite poets.


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