As I continued to dig through the contents of the pantry closet, I ran across a box of bulgur. Forlorn, long-forgotten, tucked away into a high corner behind blocks of chicken stock and udon noodles, the box appeared to look up me, blink slowly, and say, “Are you going to put me back again??”
I grabbed the box, as well as a pound of organic lentils, two carrots, a medium sized onion, two stalks of celery, half a pound of string beans, and a half cup of frozen organic peas. I scrubbed and peeled the vegetables, and put a pot of water on the stove to boil. The carrots, onion and celery were diced and added to the water. I trimmed the ends off of the string beans, and rinsed the peas. The lentils were picked over and rinsed, and I left them in a colander to drain.
I added two organic chicken drumsticks to the water, added a pinch of salt and pepper, and covered with a lid. Once the water came to a boil, I skimmed off the foam with a ladle, and lowered the heat to medium. I added the lentils, as well as some kale I had rinsed and chopped.
I then added a cup of bulgur. The grains were coarser than couscous, which I stirred into the simmering pot. I then covered the pot again, set the timer to 40 minutes, lowered the heat to simmer and returned on occasion to stir.
The bulgur added creaminess to the soup, and the lentils slowly melted into the broth. I seasoned with some additional salt and a dash of soy sauce, and contemplated whether to add grated ginger for digestion. I decided to skip the ginger.
After 40 minutes, the soup had thickened, the vegetables softened, and the kids were ready to eat. I fished out the chicken drumsticks, disposed of the bones, gristle and skin, and shredded the meat into two small Pyrex bowls.
I then ladled the soup into their bowls, added two ice cubes in each to cool down the soup, and they tucked in. The older one smiled, and said “Mmm. Mama, I really like soup.” The little one simply opened her mouth for more.
Who knew bulgur was so versatile!