Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year for 25+ years. Being a holiday junkie, she just can't get enough of the sabbats!
Every Mabon, I put a big cauldron of steamy, hearty autumn soup on the stove. It actually started as an accident—an "empty out the fridge and pantry" meal, as in one of our leaner years, I scrounged to make a holiday meal out of whatever we had available. Now, it's hard to imagine a Sabbat without it. It may not be fancy, but it's become something of a staple.
We generally love to go out and take a hike through natural areas on Mabon afternoon, and this soup is a warm and cozy way to be welcomed home. After our Sabbat prayers and offerings, we ladle out big bowls, hunker down and talk about the meaning of the season, then cuddle up to retell our favorite myths and stories by candlelight.
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I usually make three to four times as much as listed here, because it keeps nicely in the fridge for lunches, and leftovers freeze nicely. It's a simple recipe, so you can actually vary it as much as you like to suit your own tastes. Also, try it with some bread and homemade butter, which is easier to make than you think!
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- 1 quart beef, chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup lentils (if you’re not using beef or meat substitute, you can double the lentils)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper
- 4 ripe plum tomatoes
- 4 leaves fresh basil
- Fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
- Put the stock into a cauldron or soup pot and turn on the heat to medium high. Begin cutting up the potatoes and carrots. Add the potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the broth. Let them cook 15 minutes. Add the lentils and cook 10 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, put your beef (or veggie crumbles) into a skillet. On medium, cook until brown and done, stirring occasionally to break up the meat.
- Cut up the peppers and the onions as the meat cooks.
- When the beef is browned, put it into a colander over the sink to drain away excess fat.
- Immediately toss the onions and peppers into the hot pan you just took the beef out of, and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook them for about 2 to 3 minutes. NOTE: If you’re cooking with beef, there should be enough fat left on the bottom of the pan for cooking peppers and onions. If you’re not cooking with beef, use a bit of vegetable oil for the onions and peppers.
- Stir the onions and peppers on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Wash and cut the tomatoes into quarters (wedges).
- Put the onions and peppers, tomatoes and beef into the broth and stir.
- Let it simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. It’s done when the vegetables and lentils are nice and tender.
- Chop about 2 to 3 tablespoons of parsley and the basil, and sprinkle some over the top of each bowl before serving. Serve with a nice, crusty dinner roll, or some bread with homemade herbal butter.
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© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright