Goodbye 2011 - Hello 2012. New Year's Lentil Soup

It's 1st January 2012 and my plan was to get up at a decent hour, have a bowl of lentil soup and start writing, because I'm hoping that starting with a post will mean more writing throughout the year.

It's time for me to reflect on the past 12 months with their highs and lows and what I would like the next 12 months to shape into.

I will admit that 2011 has been a far better year than 2010 in the way that I feel I'm closing it with more purpose than I started it and I'm trying to face my disillusionments with a strong head and a practical solution.

I have been let down by friends, food and work in varying degrees in the past 12 months but I'm still here so I guess that's what counts.
I mean, who hasn't?

I've definitely had harder years than 2011 and I know that for some of my friends 2011 has been a bitch so even if disappointed by a lot I am aware that it could have been worse and that there are many other people (both friends and family) who truly care for me, so to those people I would like to say thanks.
Thanks for being patient friends and for seeing the good in me.
I love you all and hold you close to my heart every day even if you don't live nearby.

In general my year has been marked by good people around me, inspirational and caring figures who have learnt to love me for who I am - All quirks included so you do get a good deal.
And so it means that, as I said above, I have closed 2011 with new-found purpose, a plan of action so to speak and NO FEAR.
I will follow my heart and my dreams and what feels right and this is what I wish for all my readers, friends and family: to live their dreams, follow them through, laugh at obstacles and HAVE NO FEAR.

And to do so I leave you all with my recipe for New Year's Lentil Soup.
My dad prepares the original every NYE and never fails to have a cup at midnight to secure good health, fortune and food for the new year.

Of course it tastes better the next day.

New Year's Lentil Soup
Serves... Erm... Who cares after all those bubbles?!

250gr puy lentils
1/2 carrot grated
1 celery stalk grated
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 big garlic cloves
1/2 cup white wine
1 tbsp roughly chopped sage
2 tbsps roughly chopped rosemary
2 tsbps extra virgin olive oil
200gr chopped tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
Ground pepper to taste
Very Very nice extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped garlic for garnishing

Put the 2 tbsps of evoo, the carrot, celery, onion and garlic in a deep pan at a medium heat and let it brown slowly (about 15 minutes).

Increase the heat to high and add the wine and lentils and mix well.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, pepper and stock.
Bring to a boil.

Lower heat to minimum and let simmer for at least 2 hours adding stock if it dries up too much.

Serve topped with a splash of that very very nice extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped garlic.

Buon appetito and Feliz Año Nuevo everyone!!!

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