I don't know about you, but when I have a cold I am constantly famished and it's hard to find anything that really tastes good. Here was my solution this week. Nourishing, flavorful, earthy and warm. The garlic and spinach have great health benefits: Garlic is a natural antibiotic and spinach -- well, didn't you watch Popeye as a kid? The salt of the broth helps you retain the fluids you need to fight sickness. The mustard (if you get a good pungent one) clears your sinuses and provides a wonderful bright counterpoint to the dark flavor of the lentils.
Lentil Pottage with Spinach
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 c lean ham or turkey ham, diced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced (I buy garlic with cloves as big as the first joint of my thumb. That's BIG!)
3-4 cups broth or water
1 c brown lentils, washed and picked over
1/2 tsp dried leaves of thyme
1 c frozen spinach
Salt and black pepper to taste
Your favorite mustard to garnish
Saute onions, celery and carrots until they begin to soften. Add ham and cook all together until beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add broth and/or water and bring to boil. Add lentils. Simmer 20-40 minutes (it's really quite forgiving). Stir in spinach and heat through. Season to taste. Consistency should be that of a thick stew. You could add a can of diced tomatoes or some cooked rice if you like.
Swirl a little mustard on top of each serving. Bread and butter on the side is good.
Get well soon! I did!